Project Greyscale - R56 Mini Cooper S

Laureeno101

RMS Regular
Location
Tandragee
Drives
R56 FJCW, R53
Picked this up this morning as another project to tinker at.
It's a N14 2008 Dark Silver Mini Cooper S with decent spec. Bodywork and interior is in excellent condition, just needs a really good clean. Full HPI Check carried out and everything comes back clear

Spec is as follows:
  • Dark Silver
  • Black Roof and Mirrors
  • 17" Crown Spoke Alloys
  • Dark Grey Colour Line
  • Silver Chequered Dash
  • Full Black Punched Leather Seats
  • Multi function Steering Wheel with Cruise Control
  • On Board Computer
  • Heated Windscreen
  • Rain Sensitive Wipers
  • Auto Lights
  • Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror
  • Air Conditioning
  • Auto Start/Stop
  • Lights Package
  • Bi Xenon Headlights
  • Usual Cooper S Refinements
How it was picked up this morning
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Previous owner had the car for the past 4 years. Recently it had developed a misfire so they parked it up and never got round to fixing it. It needs a complete overhaul so is the perfect project. Interior needs stripped out and a good clean but everything is in good condition with no rips or tears

The engine had been stripped down to see cause of misfire by previous owners mechanic
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A lump broken out of piston 3 was the cause which had also took a chunk out of the bore. This engine is beyond repair, so a new engine is required
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Anyone who knows about N14 R56 Minis know that it is nearly impossible to get a good second hand engine for them. You will find plenty of engines but they will be just as bad as the one you take out either burning excessive oil (due to the valve stem oil seals or piston rings), timing chain needing replaced or like this one the bores scored or chunks out of them due to pistons breaking bits off.

The plan for this car is a complete engine rebuild. As there are plenty of spare parts in the yard it will be fairly easy building up a fully reconditioned engine.
Good bottom end will be used with new crank seals to prevent oil leaks, pistons will have new piston rings and big end shells fitted.
Head will get a pressure test, skim, all valves checked and machined, new valve guides and seals, then valves ground in.
New genuine BMW/MINI timing chain, guides, tensioner and crank sprocket will be used
All new gaskets and seals will be used on rebuild to prevent any issues with oil leaks in the future

I plan to strip out the entire interior and give all carpets a shampoo, leather seats will get stem cleaned and the leather conditioned.
The exterior needs a good clean and decontamination then a run over with the DA to remove some light wash marks.
New Air conditioning radiator is also needed as the old one has seen better days
Alloys will be taken off in the next few weeks and sent to be refurbed

Will try and keep the thread updated with progress pictures and some before and afters etc.

Very quick wash in between rain showers shows its actually in excellent condition for the age so worth saving rather than breaking
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Last edited:

Laureeno101

RMS Regular
Location
Tandragee
Drives
R56 FJCW, R53
Got stuck into it this last week or so. All parts were set out on the trailer to ensure everything was there.
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Also give it a quick hoover in the meantime. Will give it a proper strip out and wet vac when it is mobile again.

Before:
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After:
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The head was sent down to Comiskey Engineering in Portadown for a complete overhaul. Head was pressure tested, skimmed, valves checked and machined, new valve stem oil seals fitted and then valves ground in.
Block was honed and new piston rings fitted.
Forgot to take a picture of engine when was building it up so only have a picture of when it was collected from Comiskey's
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While waiting for the head to come back the remains of the old engine were pulled out
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All the new timing chain bits ordered up off Prentice Mini as well as a new oil filter housing gasket and water transfer pipe as these are prone to crack.
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Laureeno101

RMS Regular
Location
Tandragee
Drives
R56 FJCW, R53
While the turbo was off, it was checked to which it was done. I had a good recently refurbished turbo set aside for it as I suspected it would need replaced.
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All ancillaries transferred over to the new engine. While everything was out flywheel was checked which was ok and new LUK clutch kit fitted.
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While the exhaust was dropped off, I thought it would be easier to give it a clean now, rather than when it would be put back on the car
Before:
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After:
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That brings us up to date. The new engine is sitting complete now ready to be dropped in, in the next few days hopefully
 

Carson

RMS Regular
Location
......
Drives
R53 JCW/A4 B8.5
Great thread. Fair play to you for taking on another project. You are building up a nice collect of Minis now :cool:
 

Laureeno101

RMS Regular
Location
Tandragee
Drives
R56 FJCW, R53
So engine finally put in. Genuine MINI Oil filter used due to issues with aftermarket fitment
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Front end all built back together
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All is up and running nicely. Just to be 100% it is going into Prentice to get a software update to ensure it is back on a standard Cooper S map.

Another thing to address was the grubby knackered brakes. The front discs were past their best so a new set were fitted
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The rear callipers had seen better days so they went to the bin and a good set were taken out of stock. Rear discs still have plenty of life left so they just needed cleaned up. Front and rear callipers were shot blasted and painted to brighten them up
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Over the bank holiday weekend I've planned to strip out the interior and give it a thorough clean, wet vac the carpets, leather clean and condition the seats and dress all plastics etc. The engine bay also needs a good clean and dressing so as long as the weather holds that will be done also
As it has to go to Prentice next week for the software update it is also booked into their alloy wheel clinic for a full wheel refurb. It's just deciding whether to keep them silver or go black?
 

Laureeno101

RMS Regular
Location
Tandragee
Drives
R56 FJCW, R53
The car was still on the original battery and it was no longer holding enough charge to allow the start stop to function. A new start stop battery was ordered and fitted which fixed the problem so all is good again
Eventually got around to giving the interior a thorough clean. The seats were removed and carpet given a hoover and then a wet vac clean. Quite a bit of dirt was removed so nice and clean now.
Before
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After
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The seats were also given a leather clean and then conditioned before being refitted
Before
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After
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All put back together again after everything had dried out. Genuine Mini mats refitted again and all dash parts cleaned and dressed. Pretty pleased how everything turned out considering how it started off.
How it started with mould and food everywhere +o(
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How it sits now
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Now need to focus on the exterior. Have decided to keep the wheels silver as I think it will suit the car better with the chrome accents.
 

AlpineF30

RMS Regular
Drives
BMW M3
Fantastic work!

What are your long term plans with this one? Will you add it to the collection or just return it to its former glory and send it on?
 

Laureeno101

RMS Regular
Location
Tandragee
Drives
R56 FJCW, R53
Some change there, looking great! What did you use to clean & condition the seats?
First of all steam clean a panel at a time then use a leather cleaner of choice. Had autoglym in the house which worked quite well. Wipe down with damp towel and leave to dry, then apply the conditioner and buff off

Fantastic work!

What are your long term plans with this one? Will you add it to the collection or just return it to its former glory and send it on?
I'm not entirely sure on long term plans. It's a lovely car to drive and nothing rattles which is rare :joy: but on the other hand I really, REALLY do not need another. For the time being I'll drive away at it
 

Laureeno101

RMS Regular
Location
Tandragee
Drives
R56 FJCW, R53
Haven't got around to updating the thread in ages. Car will be getting driven more now that the JCW is sorn'd for the Winter.
I actually really like the car, it's very different to the others as its very quiet and civilised, also goes fairly well for being standard. I had been meaning to tidy it up sooner but as it wasn't really being driven it didn't happen. Got stuck in this weekend and gave it a good clean then waxed. The arches were very faded (common issue) so they were treated with Gtechnic C4
Before
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After
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The wheels were also changed for the lighter 17" Conical Alloys I had sitting in the spare room
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And last but not least changed the reg to one that we had on retention. Think it looks a lot better than the old one
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So far the car will be staying standard but that of course may well change later down the line. The next thing I will be attempting is to retrofit heated seats. I have stripped out the heated seat bits from another car that is breaking so all I need to do is strip the interior of this car to run the looms needed etc. That will be a project for over Christmas I think :joy:
 

Laureeno101

RMS Regular
Location
Tandragee
Drives
R56 FJCW, R53
Unfortunately the heated seats still haven't been fitted. All parts are sitting in a box as well as a set of heated leather seats but I just can't bring myself to strip out the ENTIRE interior as well as change fuse boxes, centre consoles and add the loom. So for now that idea has been shelved :joy:

The lack of bluetooth was something that was annoying. Initially I was just going to fit a Parrot but this come up locally so thought it was worth a try. I'd seen a few fitted on the Mini groups and they seemed to get good enough reviews.
Stripped out the old head unit. This involves taking most of the dash apart
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The new unit had quite a few looms to be connected into the standard loom so it was a very tight squeeze getting it fitted back together. Forgot to take a pic while I was putting it back together again, but here it is fitted and working
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It really is a good bit of kit. It's an android head unit so allows for bluetooth as well as music streaming and all of the associated apps available on android. I got a bluetooth dongle for it so it converts it to Apple CarPlay which is very handy. Overall very impressed with it.

With me putting the new Scorpion exhaust system on the JCW I had the old exhaust laying in the corner. It would have been rude not to fit it to this car. Still nice and subtle but much louder when pushing on.
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Last but not least a tuning kit JCW airbox was purchased very cheap. These use a much bigger box with a cone filter inside
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Old airbox
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New airbox
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Laureeno101

RMS Regular
Location
Tandragee
Drives
R56 FJCW, R53
Nice job! Got a link for the head unit? :p
I don't Mark sorry. Couldn't even tell you the make as it's not visible anywhere. Pretty sure it was an aliexpress job originally, I just got it off a seller on eBay who was local and never got a chance to fit it to his car before he sold it
 
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