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1st Generation MINI

This article describes three ways to program the remote control portion of a MINI Cooper key without any software.
The R53 has a couple of parts in the timing chain system that can be easily serviced. The tensioner can become stuck in the closed position, causing timing chain rattle (and I'd assume, premature wear). The guides can break over time as well, causing rattle (and premature wear). Here's a...
I am a proud first generation Cooper (non-S) owner and I’ve spent a lot of time and energy looking for a replacement exhaust system I could be happy with. Six systems, a handful of custom modifications and far too many dollars later I’m finally satisfied...nearly. Hey, I’m picky...and a little...
  1. 1st Gen "How To" Homelink Remote Installation

    Having recently moved the wife and I found ourselves burdened with a daily routine of opening two garage doors with two separate controllers. This routine consisted of reaching into the armrest and fumbling for the right garage door controller and then finding the correct button to press. As you...
  2. Product Review Texas Speedwerks X-Brace for the R50, 52 and 53

    When asked if I’d like to test the TSW product, I jumped at the chance. I’ve had other chassis stiffeners on the car before, and with 40,000 miles on the clock, a couple of things have happened. One, the car, an R52(convertible) has lost a little of it’s edge and smoothness with the accumulation...
  3. Product Review Craven Speed “Return of the CAI” Cold-Air Intake system for R53 MINI Cooper S

    “Return of the CAI” is a confident and remarkable name for a relative newcomer to a densely packed segment in R53 engine performance modifications. The first Cold-Air Intakes [or CAI for short] splashed into the MINI aftermarket soon after the cars launch back in 2002. Some early models ranged...
  4. 1st Gen "How To" HOW TO: R53 Better than JCW / Factory Rear Brakes

    How to paint your rear brakes. In this case JCW red.
  5. 1st Gen "How To" R50 & R53 Oil Service

    How-to guide for an oil service for an R50 or R53 MINI. It’s always best to do an oil change on a hot engine as the hot oil will drain better and give you a more complete oil change. Caution must be used to prevent burns from hot fluids. Rubber gloves, work gloves, and safety glasses are all...
  6. 1st Gen "How To" 1st Gen Gear Ratios - Manual Transmission

    The 1st generation MINI had two different gear ratios for manual transmissions.

    The split is with the June 2004 build cars. Those built up and including June 2004 are in the first Gear Ratio column, July 2004 to the end of 1st generation MINIs are in the second Gear Ratio column.
  7. 1st Gen "How To" Resetting the MINI Oil Indicator

    You will find this useful if you do your own oil changes. Keep in mind you should wait until your factory service expires, since resetting the indicator may lead the dealer to deny oil changes since the indicator does not indicate an oil change is due.
  8. 1st Gen "How To" R50/52/53 Rear Swaybar Install - Video How-to

    Video How-To of installing a Swaybar on the R50/52/53 MINI.
  9. 1st Gen "How To" How To: Car Electronic Device Hard Wire (radar detector)

    How To: Car Electronic Device Hard Wire (radar detector)

    by Molly "pi" Smith (aka Mol)
    Images by the Author

    (formerly Molly Bunton, soon to be Molly Notle)
    I am a real gizmo geek and I have a few how-tos on my blog. I hope to add more as time permits.

    I hope some of you find this useful:
  10. 1st Gen "How To" How To: Build an iPod Dock in your Cupholder

    The R53 MINI did a lot of things very well, however music connectivity was not one of them. Solutions like the Dension ICE:Link and later the DICE or OEM iPod adapter filled this void, but were aesthetically disappointing. This led me to try and build an iPod integration that was both functional...