Latest in the Collection - 2006 Dark Silver R53 Mini Cooper S

Laureeno101

RMS Regular
Location
Tandragee
Drives
R56 FJCW, R53
Some of you may recognise this as @Wild Thing 's old Cooper S. It’s a bit of a long story but basically, we swapped my R53 JCW and this. As those that know me know, I can keep nothing standard so it was probably the best thing to do as standard JCW prices are creeping up.

This is a mid 2006 car so the last of the supercharged Cooper S. It has fairly respectable miles at 89k as in the 3 years of @Wild Thing 's ownership it has covered a grand total of 2582 miles

Always loved the car ever since we picked it up so was delighted when he asked me did I want it
Picture of when we picked it up from Bray alongside my R56 JCW
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When it was brought home, it was given a good wash to see exactly what needed done etc. It was all fairly minimal with only the front end needing tidied up from stone chips. It was a good base car with full JCW aero kit, JCW exhaust, JCW red spring suspension, JCW airbox with flap correctly wired in, multifunction steering wheel and 17” conical alloys.
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The half leather seats were quickly changed for a full leather set as well as Hankook Ventus evo 2 tyres all round
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As most Mini Owners will know, the standard sound system is poor. Upgraded all the speakers to Clarion which made such a difference

The JCW exhaust was also changed for a Milltek Resonated cat back for a deeper exhaust note
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Then the power mods started…
A 17% Cravenspeed reduction pulley was fitted along with associated belt and cooler NGK plugs, a Newman phase 2 cam along with some Ford ST225 380cc injectors spliced into the loom to avoid the need for adapters, new timing chain kit fitted for peace of mind and also an Airtec top mount intercooler. The JCW airbox was deflapped and an ITG air filter fitted.

As you can see from the picture below the size difference between the standard intercooler and the Airtec
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A JCW strut brace was also fitted to finish the engine bay off, then it was sent down to Murray Motorsport to get mapped
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When it come back it was evident that the standard brakes were letting the car down. R56 Cooper S callipers and carriers were sandblasted and painted red, then fitted with the larger 294mm discs and ferrodo pads. Rear callipers were stripped down, cleaned then painted red to match the fronts
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New plate was got to match
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To be continued...
 

Laureeno101

RMS Regular
Location
Tandragee
Drives
R56 FJCW, R53
@Wild Thing is as indecisive as me so yet another seat change followed, only this time something a little different. A full set of R56 punched leather seats modified to fit. This involved widening the rear seat locators to allow for the rear seat uprights to fit in place as the R56 locators are slightly thicker.
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Rear bench fitted
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Although the front seats physically fit and bolt straight in, the wiring is different between the two generations. This required changing the airbag sensor plugs and soldering the new correct ones in for the R53. The pretensioners also needed swapped for the R53 ones
All fitted
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This now takes me up to when I received the car a few weeks ago.

It had been sitting from MOT last year having covered 158 miles. While over the winter etc the car was always regularly started, allowed to heat up, moved around the yard to stop it from seizing everything and washed and polished every few weeks, although it looked clean it still wasn’t where I wanted it to be.

Last week I stuck into stripping out the interior it to get everything cleaned the way I wanted it. Seats removed and carpet scrubbed and cleaned with the wet vac
Before
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After
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Although it may have looked clean, there was quite a bit of dirt removed from the carpet. It now smells lovely and fresh too
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Laureeno101

RMS Regular
Location
Tandragee
Drives
R56 FJCW, R53
While the seats were out, they got a good clean with the steam cleaner then scrubbed with leather cleaner and finally conditioned.
As you can see, before they were all shiny due to the dirt in the leather
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Then after a nice matt natural finish as the leather is now clean
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I also fitted the JCW carbon fibre gearknob and handbrake handle I had from the JCW, these are no longer available to buy new so I had kept hold of them as they ask crazy money on ebay for them now. I also by chance managed to get a full set of genuine JCW alcantara gaiters, I think I have only ever seen one other set of these for sale so was pleased to get my hands on a set of them. All fitted to the car and seats back in
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And as per all my cars, a set of JCW chequered mats were fitted
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Laureeno101

RMS Regular
Location
Tandragee
Drives
R56 FJCW, R53
Now for some exterior modifications. From we got the car the black inserts in the JCW front bumper were faded, tatty and breaking up. Unfortunately, you can no longer get replacements from Mini so they were always left on as it would be likely to pull the paint off from underneath. I was sick of looking at them as they really let the car down so I just decided I’ll pull them off and if the paint comes too I’ll just have to get the bumper resprayed. All went to plan and after carefully prying them off the paint was left intact.
Before
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After
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Next, as much as I like the conical alloys, I had the Ronals (my all time favourite alloys) sitting upstairs in the spare room with Michelin Pilot Sport 4s fitted so it was a no brainer that they were fitted.
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Next was just a thorough clean of the engine bay. While I was cleaning, I noticed that both the strut top mounts had mushroomed with sitting over time, some new genuine Mini ones were ordered and fitted as aftermarket ones aren’t great quality and mushroom again within a few weeks. The strut brace and Airtec intercooler had also dulled so after an hour or so with the autosol, they were shiny again.
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Plans are to get the paintwork back up to scratch so a ceramic coat is on the list to do as it made such a difference to my blue one. The coolant expansion tank is also looking its age so I will probably get another Canton tank as preventative maintenance and to freshen up the engine bay. If I’m honest I’m not the biggest fan of the punched leather seats but now that the rear has been modified to fit the R56 seats I’ll look out for a set of Black lounge leather with the cream piping.

So that's the latest addition to the collection and probably the last :joy:
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Laureeno101

RMS Regular
Location
Tandragee
Drives
R56 FJCW, R53
Class as usual @Laureeno101 but you just need 474 and your complete ;)
I know but unfortunately 474 is already assigned, I have been looking but cannot find it anywhere :sob:

Looks good but similar to the other two....

1 mini and try something else?
Between the R56 and R53 they are very different cars. I agree this one is very similar to the blue one. I just really like the Minis, they are easily tuned, like a go kart and brilliant on the back roads. I would like to get a 197 or Golf GTI at some stage
 

Laureeno101

RMS Regular
Location
Tandragee
Drives
R56 FJCW, R53
Little update on the Mini.
As previously mentioned, I wasn't the greatest fan of the R56 punched leather seats that were fitted. A set of heated JCW Sparcos replaced them. Still need to get a heated seat retrofit loom from Prentice when they open again so that will be a task for another day
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Next was to address the standard head unit. With having the upgraded Clarion speakers the head unit was doing them no favours. I have had this Kenwood flip out unit for years and it has been fitted to pretty much all of my previous cars at one stage or another. Pulled it out of the cupboard and fitted. This allows bluetooth steaming, USB, sat nav, DVD and if I get the additional module (which I can't see as I'll never use it) digital TV
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Brake callipers and disc barrels were also painted to freshen them up.
Before
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After
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Car was then given a deep clean (normal wash, fallout removal, de-tarred and rewashed) followed by wax (bilt hamber double speed) all plastics treated with Gtechniq C4 and engine bay cleaned and dressed

Arches 50/50
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Finished
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The rear JCW bumper stickers are letting it down big time so need to get a new set, unfortunately you cannot get genuine ones anymore so will need to look around for a good replica set.
Car also needs a new clutch as it is getting heavy and as with all Minis with sitting about the gear selector cables are sticky. I have a brand new LUK clutch and flywheel sitting here ready to go in as well as new selector cables so that will be the next thing done
 

Robin_Hood

RMS Regular
Drives
XC90
Looks great 😎

I replaced my rear JCW bumper stickers with these;


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Laureeno101

RMS Regular
Location
Tandragee
Drives
R56 FJCW, R53
Looks fantastic ! Currently deliberating between one of these or a Clio 182 for the weekend garage..
Haven’t any experience with a 182 but I don’t think you will be disappointed with an R53 👍🏻
Looks great 😎

I replaced my rear JCW bumper stickers with these;


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They look exactly what I’m after! Thanks for the link
 

Laureeno101

RMS Regular
Location
Tandragee
Drives
R56 FJCW, R53
The MINI is looking well Lauren (y)
The Sparco JCW seats are a great addition :cool: you have to love JCW seats ….. I have much want for the factory 2nd Gen Recaros !
Thanks Andy. I love the Sparcos!
Have been looking at the GP2 Recaros for the R56 myself but I think I’ll hold out until a set of CS Recaros come up for sale.
Gen 2 Recaros would look awesome in your R55 although I do really like the championship leather
 
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