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Re: BMW 2003 Mini Cooper S

Posted: October 22nd, 2014, 9:55 pm
by Will01
Water Temperature & Oil Pressure Gauges have arrived.
We will see how they work once installed, hopefully they sit well in the interior.
These work by illuminating the LED's around the outer circumference, we only went for this type of gauge as the other gauges in the car illuminate in a similar way e.g. fuel gauge

Re: BMW 2003 Mini Cooper S

Posted: October 24th, 2014, 1:13 pm
by Will01
So Oil pressure sender t-piece arrived aswell, see pictures attached. Due to the small amount of space behind the engine block next to the filter housing, i will need to run in a remote line for the electrical sender as there is not enough space for it.
I will probably therefore mount the sender with clips onto the bulkhead and keep the remote line away from sources of heat as much as possible etc and also where it will not bind with any other parts with the natural rock of the engine under power or off the throttle.

I also took the gauges out just to get a rough idea where to put them, i have chosen underneath the climate control system because they are out the way and not in your face, but still visible enough to check how everything is going. Hopefully have some time this weekend to fir the water temperature.

Re: BMW 2003 Mini Cooper S

Posted: October 27th, 2014, 12:25 pm
by Will01
Just quick update, both gauges are now wired in to the vehicle electronics, luckily the cigarette lighter socket was a nice convenient switchable power source. So far however i have only wired in the Water Temperature Gauge.
When i do the oil and filter change i will also add in the sender for the oil pressure gauge, although due to its size i think i still need to look at a remote line to mount the sender on the firewall.

For now the gauges are not 100% visible, however i have rotated them so i can see if the car starts getting dangerously hot. So far i have just used a mount meant for the Capri, once i have finished the gauge installation i am going to make a custom aluminimum or steel bracket so the gauges are more visible.
My wife is happy with them and the water temeprature gauge seems accurate compared to the OBD temperature, so all is good so far.

Re: BMW 2003 Mini Cooper S

Posted: August 21st, 2015, 12:52 pm
by Will01
So not done many updates on this for a while.
The car is still running without fault, except maybe for a slight boost leak which i will sort eventually.
This summer once my wife has finsihed with work for another Maternity spell will allow me to crack on with the next few upgrades as the car is used daily.
Next additions are to do another oil cahnge and this time i will get the oil pressure gauge setup and wired in. The electric sender will be mounted on the firewall, so its not mounted to the engine with alot of vibration.
The AirCon system also needs a recharge, we have a full set of silicone hoses to fit to refresh the old rubber hoses which are showing signs of perishing etc.
Then we also are going to fit a full set of new induction hoses and pipework and link up with a larger air to air top mount intercooler. I notice that when sat in traffic the heatsoak in the intercooler due to its placement causes a loss of power, i am hoping the larger intercooler will help it cool better. I am also going to wire in an intake temperature sensor with a water spray kit which sprays coolant(of somesort) over the outside of the cooler. I think i am still going to try and build this myself if i ever get the time.

Otherwise the only other changes i want to make to the car are to upgrade the brakes up front as i am really not happy with them after a little spirited run.
Here we will be replacing the front calipers, fitting all new braided hoses and flush through with better high performance fluid and fit some better pads. The rear brakes will be left alone. Watch this space to see what we do. The main problem i find is fade, so the discs will also be going larger and thicker to allow better cooling.

After this i am not really sure we want to do anything else, the car makes good power and is very driveable and great fun, if anything the suspension could do with a good work over, but for the time being it rides and handles just fine. I really want to just get the car sorted to a point that we can get cracking on the Capri build and finish with these on the side projects

Re: BMW 2003 Mini Cooper S

Posted: August 21st, 2015, 8:53 pm
by Guy Croft

some important archival work there Will and no disputing your care and skill and diligence, no ho..

Pity the inappropriate at BMW do now build them with such care in the first place.

I rarely remark so. But frankly I am appalled at the they way these so modern called 'Minis' are designed and built.


Re: BMW 2003 Mini Cooper S

Posted: August 21st, 2015, 9:31 pm
by Will01
I agree with you totally. No doubt they spent alot of time trying to ram it in a small engine bay. But how they designed the car is obvious that it was done on the cheap.
The intercooler being stuck on top of the engine in a perfect place to soak up all the heat below it. There is space in front of the radiator but it would cost a small fortune to try and make this change.
Hey should have probably used a water cooled intercooler if space was premium.
Luckily the engine in our Mini is the Chrysler engine. It is an over engineered poorly designed unit but it can take alot of abuse. The later Mini had a PSA engine which are prone to failure especially on the forced induction cars.
Unfortunately everything is handled be bean counters these days.
We are just trying to.make the best of what we have available.

Re: BMW 2003 Mini Cooper S

Posted: September 7th, 2015, 12:08 pm
by Will01
So the newest update is the car was treated to its annual Oil & filter change.
Taking the filter off is a massive pain in the neck, removing the oil pressure switch is very difficult but we got there in the end.
Reason for oil pressure switch removal was so that i could plumb in our aftermarket oil pressure gauge as i feel it is important to keep an eye on things since we are starting to play with the car a little more and she is getting long in the tooth.

Fitted in a tpiece adaptor and electric remote sender kit. This i think is better than leaving the sender mounted on the engine where there are alot of vibrations and it is open to elements with water and massive heat right next to the exhaust manifold.
Therefore i have taken it off and mounted inside a small compartment where the brake servo lives. Currently tied in position with cable ties, but this will be tweaked and setup better with a custom mount eventually.

Also noticed a slight issue with the sender as it needs to have a earth wire very close by, so for the time being i have made up an earth strap for the sender pipe, but i need to sort something more permanent out. It works for the time being and after a wee short drive the car also seems to drive a little nicer after getting new fresh oil. The stuff that came out was horrible so i may look at doing more frequent changes.

Next job is to sort out this annoying boost leak, alot more parts to go on order and help keep her going stronger into the future.
Since alot of coolant hoses have to be moved or removed in order to allow replacement of intake parts a full set of silicone coolant hoses will be on order, with full set of silicone intake pipes and rubber gaskets wehere required. New bypass upgraded valve as i feel the original is sticking and losing boost and then also fitting a larger top mounted intercooler for piece of mind.
Should look better at least when all done and hopefully runs a bit smoother

Re: BMW 2003 Mini Cooper S

Posted: September 9th, 2015, 11:28 am
by Will01
Just a little running update whilst the car is on the road.
So i may or may not have already mentioned but a while back when we had to repalce all 4 tyres we decided not to re-fit the Run-flat tyres that came fitted with the car.
Mainly because of cost but also because we had read alot about people who had already made the change. This car has no space for a spare so puncture repair is necessary.
Anyway for the past good few years we have been running Kumho Ecsta tyres on our Mini.
To explain these tyres have been running and lasting well for the mileage and driving we do. I think we have now had 4 sets on the fronts and 2 sets on the back. We tend to get ~10k miles out of the fronts and the car drives soo much better compared to the runflats.
The noise of the tyres is greatly reduced so is more comfortable on long distances as the run flats make alot of noise.
The car seems to accelerate easier even before we modified the engine.
The handling is also greatly improved.
It just feels an all round better package for something that actually saved us money. By far this is the best modification to our Mini.
Anyway i have noticed the past few sets that the tyres wear slightly more in the centre compared to the edges, these are run at stock pressures that the run flats were set to. I think memory serves correctly as ~34 psi.
I think now we will actually lower the pressure on the fronts to between 30-32psi and see if that helps wear more evenly.

I quite like the Kumho tyre as it has quite a stiff sidewall comapred to alot of tyres, i think this helps keep a balance that is close to the original run flats which the car used to run which have very stiff sidewalls.

We have tried the same tyres on the Alfa but, it really doesn't like them and i hate the noise they generate on the 156.
However if anyone out there has a Mini Cooper S on 17" wheels i can highly recommend these tyres. Quite cheap aswell ~£80 fitted each

Re: BMW 2003 Mini Cooper S

Posted: October 16th, 2015, 5:28 pm
by Will01
Ok. A little annoyed tonight. Come car to find slight water stain on floor. And yes it is from our Mini.
Checked coolant as I only filled up 2 days ago and I have lost quarter a litre.
On closer inspection it is weeping and sometimes spraying out of top of radiator where fins join horizontal rails just where these join the side tank.
Staining very apparent.

Now waiting to hear info on how to get this lifetime warranty radiator fixed!
It now means a proper pain to replace as I have to strip the front end again! Lasted 11 months and 7 miles.

Now thinking what is worth replacing whilst all off again.

Re: BMW 2003 Mini Cooper S

Posted: October 16th, 2015, 6:20 pm
by Guy Croft
they're all the same these big name manufacturers Will..

cars 'designed' by half-arsed kids with cad skills.. Look at the new 'Discovery' on my Facebook and tell me I am wrong.

My new Rangey (Land Rover approved) battery - dead on arrival at Marshalls in Lincoln a month ago..

replacement LR approved 'Titanium' battery - dead in less than a month

Can I fit a British-made Oldham "Silver" (as I use on my test rig, only had to charge it twice in a year... powerful? You bet)..?

....oh no, not LR approved..

Same with the aircon heat exchanger, made in Chiner, 3 in three years, no more aircon.

I tell you, all these motor manufacturers need a major fecking GC style kick up the a*se


Re: BMW 2003 Mini Cooper S

Posted: October 16th, 2015, 9:28 pm
by Will01
I have to agree.
I bought a 'good' radiator which had lifetime guarantee so I could maybe forget about having to replace again. Hope it gets sorted but it is a major pain since I now have to remove from a car that is used daily. Going to play with the Capri tomorrow to cheer myself up.

As for batteries I get annoyed at silly notions that they are not approved and void warranties etc for certain vehicles. A battery is a battery as long as good quality. It's seems to boil down to money I say.
I used to work for a.big retailer of car parts and if the computer said that battery was not listed for that car you could not use it! What poor. Didn't help that the computer used to get updated and one battery may have been.listed and then later not so the customer would be stuck. You can fit a larger battery to a car if you want. The vehicle will only draw what it needs. The battery doesn't force more power on the car which can damage it lol.
Sorry seem to be in a ranting mood and slightly off topic.

Re: BMW 2003 Mini Cooper S

Posted: October 17th, 2015, 7:21 pm
by Guy Croft


Re: BMW 2003 Mini Cooper S

Posted: October 22nd, 2015, 11:28 am
by Will01
So still waiting on radiator to arrive.
However some of the other parts that i purchased are arriving bit by bit. Since the radiator has to be removed and this allows access for alot of the engine compartment again i have decided to take the opportunity for more upgrades and good servicing. It may also allow me to find where i have a slight boost leak as it would be nice to feel the full potential of the power upgrades.

New gaskets for oil seals and coolant hoses and a new I/C.
Because the car will be coming off the road i will also have the car booked into BMW for a free visual inspection and may just attack the car.
I have also purchased some newer R56 Cooper S calipers with carriers as this means the single piston front calipers moves from 48 to 54mm.
Also this goes from 276 to 294mm Disc. I can't remember if i had mentioned previously about not being happy with the brakes on this car as they are not great after they get hot, but i do hope this upgrade will allow us to make more use of the car.
Technically this also upgrades the brakes to John Cooper Works level for a car of our year.
New braided hoses will also be fitted to ditch the original rubber hoses, of which i have never been a fan.

Going to try and keep this one for Christmas and New Year project.
Depending on condition of calipers when they arrive from Mini breakers, i will strip, paint and rebuild with new seals etc

Re: BMW 2003 Mini Cooper S

Posted: October 28th, 2015, 12:08 pm
by Will01
Just a quick update, the new R56 Cooper S calipers for the front arrived yesterday. These are calipers off newer model Mini Cooper S model year 2007-2011.
They are in good useable condition, however since there is no rush to fit them i will be stripping down and giving a good clean for good measure.
As far as new discs go i will be fitting grooved and dimpled discs as i have said previously i am not a fan of cross drilled discs.

Re: BMW 2003 Mini Cooper S

Posted: November 5th, 2015, 1:03 pm
by Will01
Pictures of second hand calieprs before checking and cleanign and refurb