1st Gen R50 Cooper Is it worth it?

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by M1N1, Dec 7, 2016.

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  1. M1N1

    M1N1 Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2014
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    Over the last few weeks, I have had an "SES" light come on 3 or 4 times. When reading the code(s), I get P0303 Cyl 3 misfire and the BMW code P113C pre cat O2 sensor. Read by a generic Autel code reader. I have had the P113C code before, about 2 1/2 years ago.

    http://www.motoringalliance.com/forums/cooper/20458-error-fault-code-p113c.html

    I only use an OEM coil, NGK plugs and wires. All less than 3 months old. Nick at Detroit Tuned suggested doing a compression test to determine if an exhaust valve is bad or the rings. I will do this at the weekend. Already fitted a new NGK O2 sensor, and cleared codes.

    Nick also suggested using Cooper S valves, less prone to burning out, and doing timing chain/guides at the same time. Car currently has about 128000 miles on it.

    If I do this myself, the valves as supplied by DT would be about $330 and the timing chain/guides about $180. On top of this would be all of the gaskets, etc. This little project could end up costing $700+, if I turn the wrenches myself.

    Although the Justa is in generally great condition, apart from stone chips on the bonnet, I don't know that I want to throw that kind of money into a 10 yr old car. Budget always has to be an issue, I'm the only wage earner in a household of 5 (including 2 teenage boys!!!!). I guess that I could sell the stuff that I have accumulated for the car (center arm rest, Redline armrest cover, new boot tray, etc.). Or I could just trade it, and let someone else have the potential headache.

    Thoughts?

    P.S. Thanks to Nick for the great advice.
     
  2. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
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    About a thousand dollars and some elbow grease is way cheaper than a new car.
     
  3. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    Some local KC club members had been getting this code for a while too, and had thrown plugs, wires, coils etc at it without curing the problem, so they called me...... I loaned them my compression tester and sure enough - 50lbs on cyl 3.

    They did the work themselves (other than the machine shop to do the valves- which was about $400 too!) and they wound up replacing the cam as well......the car now runs as well as it did when new and they are still in love with it - it's a 2005 Justa Cabriolet BTW with about 200K on it....original CVT too!

    So, unless you're just ready for a new car, like Dave says it's a worthy investment.
     
  4. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    It all comes down to do you want a car payment or not.

    I say fix it.
     
  5. M1N1

    M1N1 Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2014
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    Thanks for the input. Car payment is not really an issue, as we've been thinking of replacing my wife's Dodge anyway. Would trade the MINI against a new car for her, and I would take over the Dodge as my daily driver.

    The only thing that makes me even think about fixing the Justa is how much I enjoy driving the damn thing. Get behind the wheel of a Gen 1 MINI, and all reasonable logic flies out of the window.
     
  6. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Save your gen 1. :thumbsup:
     
  7. M1N1

    M1N1 Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2014
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    Guess the first step is to do the compression test, and go from there. Off to work now. Good night.
     
  8. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    In all I have ordered almost $1500 in parts to refresh my 02 S. I can't think of a car I would want more with the exception of a 06 JCW or a Gen 1 GP. So to me it is worth fixing. I really wish I could send the motor to RMW and let them do their magic, maybe some time down the road.

    Cheaper to keep her.:D
     
  9. mrntd

    mrntd New Member
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    ^^^^ What he said
     
  10. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    The cheapest car is the one you already own. If you still love it fix it, it has many more miles left in it. If your MINI has a CVT (ticking time bomb) trade it in, because that one will kill you with its replacement co$t. Good luck.
     
  11. M1N1

    M1N1 Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2014
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    Home from work!!!

    On top of all the parts needed, are there any special tools that are required to do the job. Have all the usual wrenches, sockets, torque wrenches, etc.
    Also, what kind of psi are we looking for on the comp test? I can get the factory figures from Bentley, but what psi is realistic on a 128000 mile motor? And what tolerance, ie +/- 10%?
     
  12. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
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    Any special tools will be listed in the bentley manual. If you don't already have one, get one, before you do the job.
     
  13. Minidave

    Minidave Well-Known Member
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    135 - 150 or more on the compression - what you hope for is an even reading across the cylinders - more than 10% difference is cause for pulling the head but I have a feeling you'll find one of them a lot lower.

    A CVT is no more of a time bomb than a Midlands 5 speed........both require fresh fluid on a regular basis to keep them healthy. There are two CVT's in the KC club over 200K and still going strong - the one with the higher mileage (close to 300K now) has been tracked regularly too.......both get regular fluid changes every 30K at the dealership.
     
  14. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    Of course one should do the required service. Still a Midlands or CVT = a Time-Bomb ticking. :yesnod: Justa my opinion. I know what that is worth. :wink:
     
  15. M1N1

    M1N1 Well-Known Member

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    Mine is an '06, 5 speed Getrag.

    Will do the comp test this weekend. Got to work both days (or nights, 3rd shift), but will have to make time somehow. Usually work 9 1/2 to 10 hrs with a 75 minute commute each way.
     
  16. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Remember every Chili Red 1st Gen is worth saving. :D
     
  17. RallyMini370

    RallyMini370 New Member

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  18. M1N1

    M1N1 Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2014
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    Chris, thanks for that option. S head fitted to a Justa.

    Car goes in tomorrow to have compression check, and a general check over. If, as I expect, Cyl 3 shows low compression, I will have to make a decision as to what to do.

    1, Fix it myself, but parts are bloody expensive. Per Nick at DT, valves (Cooper S, harder wearing) $40 each, timing chain/guides $180. Add to that gaskets, seals, head bolts, special tools, etc, and the parts bill alone could be $800 +.

    2, Have DT fix it (about 150 miles away), and have the knowledge that the job has been done well. But that ain't going to be cheap.

    3, Bin the the bloody thing!!!!! Clear the code, and trade it in. :thumbsup:
     
  19. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Save the MINI and have Chad at DT fix it.
     
  20. RallyMini370

    RallyMini370 New Member

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    Here's how I found out it was a burnt out exhaust valve. I put the suspect cylinder to both valves closed then put an airline in the spark plug hole used the compression check line. Then pumped in a few PSI and put a tissue over the tail pipe. The tissue moved so this proved the valve was bad.
     

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