1st Gen R53 Cooper S My 2005 R53 Daily Driver build thread

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by fishmonger, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    It doesn't sound like it but I will ask anyway. Could it be wheel bearing.
     
  2. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    noisy only when uloaded? Now, there is that constant sound like something is rubbing every wheel revolution when I am on the highway. However, that noise goes away the moment I apply brakes. Had the brakes completely apart. Near new, nothing rubbing, wear sensors are removed and zip tied out of the way. Still a chance it is a bearing, as loading changes when you use brakes. I've had them on the shopping list, but no high priority. Maybe I should just do it. Doesn't take much work, just have to make sure I source a bag of replacement bolts, as they are one-time use and must be replaced with the bearings. They are expensive from Mini, but I already bookmarked an alternate source.

    It could be multiple things that make noise back there, though. ARB is the one thing I haven't checked in detail. Maybe the downlink or the bushing.
     
  3. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    So today I turned off the lights in the garage and started aiming the headlights against the rear wall where I still had marks from my (lowered) non-HID Mini. Way too high, so I am worried that the LEDs are causing that. Well, I started turning the adjustment screws and things were slowly getting in line with the other car's light beam level. Clearly, there was nothing obstructing the auto-leveling action in the housing either.

    I did run out of adjustment on the passenger side, but then realized the light was off center and aiming too far to the right. (could tell in the housing). Once that direction was roughly adjusted, I found more adjustment down as well, and when done, I think I had it all aimed back to where it used to be, roughly. A night test drive will tell the full story. Nothing binding inside, so these bulbs are still a go for HID housings. You just have to fold the braided cooling straps tightly around the rear and forward into the housings, and make sure the bulgy part of the bulb faces down, as they are off center with respect to the rear cap. Facing down, they do not touch the cap, even aimed well down.

    My only explanation for all this is that there was a lot of shoving around to get the driver and everything else inside. On the passenger side I actually popped the plastic reflector right out of whatever attaches it to the aiming motor. Snapped back in, but it likely isn't exactly in the same seating position. I can't wait to do a drive in the dark and see the high beams burn a hole into the night.

    While messing with lights, I noticed one of the license plate bulbs was burned out. I took the opportunity to clean behind that whole assembly by removing the 4 torx screws holding the handle and lights to the hatch. Once off, you can get the light covers off the handle with a gentle push into the direction of the side where the shiny metal spring sits. In my case that's on the driver's side for both lights, probably standard. If you don't do that, you will break a plastic tab off the cover (happened on my other car, bought LED replacements and suddenly felt like I had a spotlight on my butt - used a black sharpie pen to dim that stuff). Definitely a spot on the car where I prefer the dim incandescent bulbs. Swapped both with fresh, as even the one that was still functional had black stuff on the inside of the glass and likely not a lot of life left in it.

    Up next for the daily driver will likely be the cold air intake DIY job. I'm taking measurements today to order some metal, likely aluminum, as it is easier to work with except for the welding part. I don't have a welder that can handle aluminum, although this is a part that may do ok with the solder rod type approach, or I find a way to bolt a collar around the tube that needs to go through the box, which is really the only part that needs to be welded, unless you can find a different method. If the pipe is steel and the box aluminum, I can't weld it anyway.
     
  4. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    Closeup of the HID/LED color temperature difference - guess some Osram CBI D2S bulbs would go better with the LEDs, but then the difference is far less than before with halogen high beams.

    [​IMG]


    You can clearly see the fine cracks in my housings. These appears to be just in the outer layer of the plastic, but I'm not sure. If they go all the way through. So I am still tolerating the issue instead of breaking out the sanding/polishing kit to remove the top layer. If somebody sold replacement lenses, I'd have these lights in the oven in no time, but so far I haven't found anything but complete and overpriced light housing replacements.
     
  5. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Looking good !
     
  6. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    The daily driver got some love again yesterday. Thursday the driver side window just stopped working. Meh. So before I started even looking at fuses, or tore into the door, I figured "hey, it's a Mini, so this likely has happened to others" and did a search. Well... known issue for sure.

    So following the advise to use "percussive maintenance" on the door, I first listened to the door and it dd make a relay clicking sound on switch activation. So I knew it's likely not a fuse or switch issue. So I began to do the smacking of the door panel below the tweeter while activating the switch. Nothing at first. Tapping the top of the window didn't work either. After a while, I decided to increase the intensity of the door smacks. Still nothing. So I gave it one more good hard whack, and bingo. The window was back in business.

    Being anal about all this, I now need to find out what exactly I can do to more permanently address this. I take it is isn't the motor, but a relay failure, but the relay is inside the motor? Next time I tear into the door or the window gets stuck again, I think I'll pull the door card and get in there a little deeper than a hard hit.

    So with one success for one project, I decided it was time to tackle the next job - headlight restore. I wasn't going to do it as they were still quite good, but I recently restored the lights on my daughter's Outback. It worked so well, I figured it's time to do the Mini.
     
  7. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    Prepped the lights for sanding

    [​IMG]

    I used 1000, 2000 (a lot), 3000, 5000, 7000 grip to prepare the surface for the final step. This is all a matter of thorough preparation. I sanded by hand for about 90 minutes per light. You want to remove that top plastic layer that has oxidized over the years. If you leave parts of that on the lens, it won't look right.

    [​IMG]

    For the final step, I applied Rust Oleum "Wipe New" f (thanks for BumpDaddy to send me this!), which creates a layer on top of the plastic that is crystal clear, filling in the remaining surface scratches and once dry protects form UV. It should last 2 years. I'll see how it changes over time. Re-application will likely only take a quick re-sand and wipe. The result are lights without any of those cracks in the plastic I showed in a recent post.

    [​IMG]

    Since this product doesn't store very well, I also redid all the black plastic and this time went even under the hood and into detail areas like the honeycomb intakes below the windshield, using a nifty foam tip applicator that comes with the product, just like gloves and microfiber applicator cloths. Good stuff, gets the blacks black and doesn't wash off in a week or two like the McGuiar's Black stuff.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    I used this method on the passenger side door, its worked for years. My driver side did it the other day same fix. I am sure I will have years of service from it too. So stop being anal, you don't need to take anything apart.:D
     
  9. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    I want to take things apart... wash out relays with alcohol, lube them with synthetic elbow grease, etc...

    guess I have to focus on the brake calipers now - got that red paint waiting to make the car look faster
     
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  10. ScottinBend

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    To really make sure those headlights stay that way, put some film on them. I have used the LaminX product with great results. Did the (very) light blue on mine just after getting it 14yrs ago and replaced them last summer. The headlights looked brand new after taking off the old film.
     
  11. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    not sure I want to put film on top of this chemical solution. It likely will turn yellow and go cruddy on me in a year or two anyway, with or without clearbra on it. My dark silver car had film on the lights until recently, and it still looks like new. Definitely going to re-apply some on that car in the near future, because I don't want to ever have to sand it down like this car and then deal with the reduced durability. You can't just put film on the lens without applying the chemical, because even at 7000 grid and then followed with plastic polish on a buffer, it just never gets as clear as it was before. The liquid stuff does fill in all imperfections like a wax does to paint swirls.
     
  12. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
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    I need to try the percussive maintenance (the Fonzie Maneuver). When I went to a track day a few weeks back, I had to run and get special permission to run w/ my passenger window in the full up position.
     
  13. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    If you want to take things apart I will sent you my R53 and a list.
     
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  14. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    I can get them perfectly clear again with a Makita rotary with a wool pad. hehehe
     
  15. Whine not Walnuts

    Whine not Walnuts Active Member
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    The problem with most things made, including both a headlight lens and a person, is that time does take it's toll. You can apply topical solutions and even remove via either abrasives or chemicals a portion of the top layer but in the long run the lens or your body is not new. Plastic is a polymer and therefore O2 and UV have detrimental impacts on the material. I am also thinking that diffusion is involved.

    Now relative to Dave.0's abilities, the first picture below is work performed by someone other than Dave.0 and the second is proof of Dave's abilities . . . .

    Not by Dave.jpg

    By Dave.jpg
     
  16. Dave.0

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    I use a UV ceramic coating when the lens has been polished to perfection.
     
  17. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    For the last two weeks I've had a strange issue. Now that the window is fixed thanks to a percussive maintenance operation, I am having unlocking issues, driver side door only.

    I'm not sure if I have a clear pattern, so this is likely not a result of my reprogramming of what the remote does. The programming is set to unlock all doors on one button push, and if pushed again, it turns out comfort entry (roll down driver side window on handle push).

    However, what happens most of the time is that following a single button push, the door button things pop up, I hear the relays, I can open passenger door and hatch, but the driver side door handle does nothing. I push unlock again, nothing. I lock, unlock, half the time it works, other times I have to repeat lock unlock one or two more times before the driver side door handle shows some mechanical resistance and will engage to open the door. But, sometimes it works immediately, especially if I don't open the hatch first. It also works immediately when using the key in the lock and not the remote, although I have tested that only once.

    Do I have something stuck in the door? Programming is set to never auto-lock the door, so when I am at a store, open the hatch, load up and then close the hatch, push my cart off and come back, the car should never be self-locked again. It isn't (passenger side and hatch always open), but the driver side door will always be inoperable in those cases. It has been a while since I was last able to just get into the car that way.

    Rip open the door panel and start spraying some sort of cleaner/lubricant into the door lock mechanism? It all seems to be responding fine, just not enough to be able to open the door on first try.
     
  18. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    oh, and I see condensation/water side the headlights. Maybe a leftover of my ambitious polishing, or just a matter of having had the housings opened up for a while when messing with the LED high beams. Best method to dry out? Open both covers and use a mild hair blow dryer?

    Are the HID headlights usually a bit bouncy when you run over crappy road pavement seams? I feel mine are much bouncier than they used to be, possibly a result of all that LED weight on the rear. Not liking that. Or maybe I did partially unhook the adjustable reflector part when I pushed the LEDs on and it now is attached only to one axis and can rock up and down when I hit a bump? Both lights are doing it so this is likely normal and I am just overly sensitized to it since I messed with the LEDs for quite some time.
     
  19. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    I am pretty sure you need a new door lock actuator for that door. I changed one for a friend. I can't remember exactly what the old one was doing when it went bad but it was spastic. I think you could lock it with the remote but only unlock it with the key or the switch inside. Anyway I think that's what you need. All I can say is you have fun changing it, I know I did!
     
  20. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Before you buy a new door lock actuator open the door and take the inside door trim off. Then look at the cable from the inside door handle to the door lock actuator. You may have too much slack in the line because it came loose from a clip or a clip broke or it has just streched since it is the most used door on the car.

    Just pull on the inside handle like you would getting out of the car. It unlocks the door with the first pull and the second pull opens the door. You will see cable move, if it moves too much it will not fully unlock the door.

    To fix mine I used a wire tie and short self tap screw. I saw the slack and pulled the cable and put more tension on it. Wire tie to zip screw and WaLa problem fixed.

    Before you put the inner door trim back on test it out fully.
     

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