A very special little R53 MINI (now with Milltek)

collyirwin11

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Was 222 cars tonight so the car park was pretty crowded. If you’re about portrush tomorrow come down for the show at west bay car park, hopefully the weather holds up.

Unfortunately off to Enniskillen tomorrow, as I would have liked to have seen the show. Hopefully weather holds out and is good for you.

I didn’t see you at all, should have waved/flashed/said hello, I was likely in a world of my own! Cheers though, actually bothered to clean it today lol Numberplate? Is it not on the front of the car officer? ^o)

I had a little nosey at this Mini in the car park, it looks great (y)

I was standing in the car park and saw you turning up a street opposite, assuming to park maybe, so no opportunity to speak or wave. Did look very clean too so good work on the cleaning (y)
 

_Stu_

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Despite the poor weather all of yesterday it dried up a bit for the run along portrush promenade. Only two more events this year then at the end of September I’ll likely start getting Seth prepped for winter storage and make a list of jobs for 2019.

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_Stu_

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Aaaaaaaaaaaaannnnd it’s broken again. What I thought was a broken ABS sensor has turned out to be something else. It has driven absolutely perfect since the dash lights came on but today I got in to it to get it ready for the Mini run tomorrow and the brake pedal has way too much travel for my liking. Checked fluid reservoir and it’s nearly empty. Next journey will be on a recovery truck then I will likely just store it for winter when I get it back. It’s not been a great year for repair bills but here’s hoping next year doesn’t try to bankrupt me.
 

Neil_M

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Aaaaaaaaaaaaannnnd it’s broken again. What I thought was a broken ABS sensor has turned out to be something else. It has driven absolutely perfect since the dash lights came on but today I got in to it to get it ready for the Mini run tomorrow and the brake pedal has way too much travel for my liking. Checked fluid reservoir and it’s nearly empty. Next journey will be on a recovery truck then I will likely just store it for winter when I get it back. It’s not been a great year for repair bills but here’s hoping next year doesn’t try to bankrupt me.

Shout if you are stuck Stu.

It's easy enough to put a pressure bleeder on and increase the pressure to see where the leak is coming from.
 

_Stu_

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Shout if you are stuck Stu.

It's easy enough to put a pressure bleeder on and increase the pressure to see where the leak is coming from.

Cheers man, I have a fear it is going to end up being a rear calliper to be honest. Brake pipes and hoses were all replaced earlier in the year and there had been no issues. Unfortunately I don’t have the space to do any work on it where it is at the minute so will get it recovered to @Wild Thing soon then get it prepped for winter storage.
 

_Stu_

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That’s Seth locked up for the winter months now. Brake issue was a leaking union on a brake pipe, was tightened up and appeared to be fine but a few weeks later and the pedal is spongy again so when it’s back on the road it’ll be straight down the road for a service and get the brakes checked. Next year I will be getting some bodywork sorted and potentially a seat repair, also keeping an eye out for an anthracite roof lining. Plan on spending a few evenings cleaning it up and getting it ready for months of storage then plenty more trips and shows planned for next year.

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_Stu_

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With April fast approaching I decided to start getting the MINI ready for coming out of hibernation. I frequently go and check on it and start it up but last night I was greeted with a dead battery. The battery is in the boot on the Cooper S so I pushed it out of the garage and connected it up to the Volvo and it started instantly. Everything seems fine apart from the still very spongy brake pedal so it’s first trip will be to get that sorted.

Got plenty of trips planned for this year including a trip to Bristol in August. Looking forward to more road trips and adventures. Hard to believe it’s over 2 years since I was given the car. It’s still difficult getting in to the drivers seat sometimes but it’s certainly starting to get a bit easier.

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_Stu_

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Not much to update. Got to the bottom of the spongy brakes which was they just needed bled properly. I’ve had it out a few good runs already this year and yesterday was the dreaded MOT. Thankfully it went through with no issues.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a car that I’ve taken to 3 MOTs which makes this the longest ownership of a car yet for me. It’ll be one I’ll never sell either.

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_Stu_

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After booking my tickets this time last year it was time to attend the International Mini Meeting last weekend in Bristol. In total the trip took us nearly 1300 miles in the space of a week and I loved every second of it.

The weather at the IMM was really not kind. It poured from start to finish and the camp sites became a quagmire. I’m always really fussy about keeping the MINI spotless and a deep clean will be taking place this weekend. Despite the weather it was an amazing weekend away.

On the way home from IMM I visited the Oxford factory where the MINI was made and got an obligatory picture. We also stopped off in Blackpool, Manchester and Newcastle and made a little holiday out of it. It’s the most miles I’ve put on the car in one go and it’s probably more miles than I did all of last year in it. Also hit 111,111 miles so had to get a picture of that.

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svensktoppen

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That mud is proper 😇 😁

That looks like a great trip, I didn't even know you could visit the factory!
 

_Stu_

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Not long now until it’s time to come out of hibernation. I’m booked in with @Wild Thing (provided we aren’t all in lockdown) for a service at the start of April then I hope to get the rear bumper and quarter panel repaired and painted this summer at KRCR. I’ve been debating getting them repaired as it’s only a tiny scuff and a little dent which has been there for 10+ years but I want the car looking it’s best.

Unfortunately some of the shows and events I’ve been wanting to do have already been cancelled due to Covid 19 but hopefully it means there’ll be plenty on when this has all passed over us.

In the mean time I’ve also bought my nephew his first MINI (he’s only 1) so hopefully he grows up to be in to minis too 😁

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_Stu_

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Well with lockdown happening all plans are now on hold. Car will be going to Pete at PMG for body repairs and a detail when everywhere is open again. Due to being parked up in storage for the foreseeable I treated it to a nice new indoor car cover which is a much better fit and is more breathable. It’s really annoying me not being able to drive this but I’d be telling lies if I said I was using it for essential journeys and also I’d never use it to get to or from work. First thing I’ll be doing when this lockdown is over is taking a day off work and going for a proper road trip to put a grin back on my face.

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_Stu_

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Taxed Seth at the start of June and have been doing a good bit of driving. Then last week I was checking the oil level and spotted that my coolant tank has started to split. Annoyingly it’s only 2 years old and is a genuine BMW part which was around £100. Not sure what to replace it with yet.

I have always been a fan of the R95 JCW wheels on the R53 MINIs and it’s one of the very few changes to the car I’ve ever considered. As luck would have it a set came up for sale locally so I went last night to pick them up. They do need refurbished and the tyres are no good but next year I’ll get them fully refurbished and get a new set of good tyres on them. I won’t be getting rid of the original “bullet” wheels so it means I can go back to standard if I want to.


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_Stu_

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After not being sure what to do with the coolant tank I decided the best option was to buy an aftermarket one and see how things go. I wasn’t for buying another genuine BMW one for it to split again so quickly. @markmeus kindly sourced me one and it’s sat in my shed for a couple of weeks until I decided to sort it tonight. I’m happy to say there’s no sign of water or oil mixing and it the system isn’t under big pressure which is a huge relief. It was only a poor quality tank and nothing more sinister. Going to enjoy a nice drive somewhere tonight and make the most of the lovely weather.

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svensktoppen

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Did you speak to BMW about the new bottle failing so quickly? That shouldn't happen with an OEM part...

Great you got it sorted. Enjoy the nice weather 😎
 

_Stu_

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Did you speak to BMW about the new bottle failing so quickly? That shouldn't happen with an OEM part...

Great you got it sorted. Enjoy the nice weather 😎

I’m doubting they would be interested to be honest. It’s a known weak point in the R53 and the last bottle was purchased in June 2018 so it’s outside it’s warranty. Annoying though as I’ve only done a few thousand miles since it was fitted. If this new one splits I’ll go for a good quality alloy one but this should hopefully do for a while.
 

_Stu_

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Managed to pick up a nearly new set of Dunlop SP Sport Maxx Run Flat tyres for the R95 alloys last night. They are a strange size being 205/40/18 so was really pleased to find a good set local. I collected them from Armagh and went to pick up the R95s from my garage and left them off to Michael at Polished Alloys this morning for a refurb. Hope to get them back mid next week and get them fitted before the MINI goes back in for winter storage.

I know run flats wouldn’t be to most people’s taste but it makes sense for me as there is no spare in the MINI and I take it to lots of events in England and all over Ireland. Also it’s not a daily driver nor is the standard suspension particularly comfy anyway so I can deal with the harder ride.

Can’t wait to get the wheels back and fitted now. The R95s have always been my favourite wheel on a first gen MINI.

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Brilliant thread mate , recognise the car and reg from a couple of meets so will say hello next time . Looks like a lovely car , those heated recaro are lovely in them .
 

_Stu_

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Got the new wheels fitted up yesterday and went to Junction One for a quick meet with some of the other modern mini owners. Really loving how the 18s fill the arches and the ride hasn’t really changed much at all. Michael at @polishingalloys did a fantastic job on the wheels so I’m very pleased with how they turned out.

Will be taking it off the road at the end of this month and tucking it up for winter. If all goes to plan I’ll get the front and rear end painted next spring.

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_Stu_

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Normally would SORN the MINI at the end of September but there was a couple of jobs I wanted to do before putting it away so keeping it on the road for another month. There was a run happening today so it got a quick wash yesterday and took a run out to Spelga Dam via Ardglass Harbour and Newcastle. Was a great day out and found a couple of pics of my car posted on fb. Really happy with how the R95s look, they fit just perfect on the first gen MINIs. Off work for a few days so plan on getting the wheels off to properly clean the arches and also investigate a slight knock from the back when braking at low speed. I suspect it’s a bad brake pad moving about in the calliper.

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