Newb to MINIs, 06 R53 in Tacoma, WA

Discussion in 'Starting Line - New Member Introductions' started by Husky44, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. Husky44

    Husky44 New Member

    Feb 5, 2019
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    Greetings! Just became a MINI owner about a month ago. Needed a practical, small, inexpensive, efficient DD with a hatch. Lots of research and searching, and I wound up with an 06 Hyper Blue R53 with 80k on it. Needed a clutch and a rear main, and some strut tower de-mushrooming (not severe), but even with that, the price was too good to pass up.

    My primary enthusiast car is Mustangs, and I've owned a bunch. The MINI shares a garage with a restomod 67 Mustang convertible project, so the goal is to keep the MINI from becoming a project. So far, all of the work is maintenance (except for some striping customization!).

    I don't have much knowledge to contribute when it comes to these cars, so I'm here to learn, and will share any of my mistakes as I'm going, so others can learn what not to do! 20190117_162323.jpg
     
  2. Goldsmithy

    Goldsmithy MINI Alliance Ambassador
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    Welcome to the best MINI site on the internet. Lots of good information and great people. As far as your urge to not make it a project...good luck with that one. These cars are just too much fun.
     
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  3. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Welcome to M\A, nice R53.

    Ask as many questions as you want we will not tell you to do a search. If you run stuff by this group before buying we may be able to save you some money without you having to learn the hard expensive way. Many of us have very modded R53 so we know what products work and what is complete BS.
     
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  4. 00Mini

    00Mini Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to Motoring Alliance !!
     
  5. Husky44

    Husky44 New Member

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    I am chronically infected with the mod bug. Just having to manage my priorities. The Mustang is where I want to spend my time. But geez, this thing is a riot to drive!!!

    I had the good fortune to put about 25k on a 2013 GT500--it was an insane car that I'm thankful to have experienced. But it taught me something: It's a lot more fun to drive a less-capable car at its limit than it is to drive a more capable car at my limit (especially when the car vastly exceeds my abilities!). So, when I was asked the other day to compare my MINI to my Shelby, I surprised people. While they are vastly different cars, the MINI is often just as much fun to drive.

    I'm checking out different forums, while I should be working. :D So far, I'm thinking I'm going to like this place. It seems like y'all are smart, opinionated people, but not jerks about it. I'll try to fit in.
     
  6. Husky44

    Husky44 New Member

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    Thanks! Most of my mods will be pretty mild. Just put in the Valeo clutch kit. Going with IR fixed camber plates to help keep the strut towers in shape, and Bilstein B4s (wanted to do the Koni FSDs, but decided to save the cash this time). That's it for round 1. Brakes are basically stock, but new, so they'll get to wear down before they get upgraded. Next round will probably be a pulley and plugs. Would like to get the cheap, effective performance improvements, but definitely want to keep this one as a reliable DD.

    Thanks for the add!
     
  7. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Look at this site for quality parts. https://www.greeneperformance.com/

    And Detroit Tuned. https://www.detroittuned.com/shop/


    Stay away from Alta, M7 and even Way Motor Works.
     
  8. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Welcome to MA! Not turn it into a project???? We have heard that before.:D We are here to help spend your money and get you addicted to modding your Mini. Great chose on the clutch. I have the same one on my R53. A pulley is a must, look you probably need a new belt, you should change the idler pulley and tensioner at the same time. So you can see it would be silly to do all that work and not go head and do the pulley while you're at it. I would go with a 15% pulley. See how much help we are?
    You may want to replace the clutch slave cylinder when you do the clutch. If you do let us know, it can be a pain to bleed but there is an easy trick.

    I have had my R53 over 14 years it has been my daly driver and It is modded. They are fun car. I have had a couple mustangs, my younger son has a 2003 GT, yes it has been modded too. He is away at college so I am stuck driving it for him to keep it in running order.:D
     
  9. Husky44

    Husky44 New Member

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    "while you're at it." The most expensive words in the car hobby... :D

    See, in my vocabulary, that's not "mods." That's "preventative maintenance."

    Clutch job is done; I farmed this one out. Too busy with work to take the time now to learn all the ins and outs of front service mode. Found an indie shop that I wanted to try out (I've only lived here a couple of years, and generally I don't pay anyone to work on my car, but it's always nice to have somebody you trust). These guys both owned and worked on MINIs. Their preference was to pull motor and trans to do clutch; I wasn't going to argue, and since it's a new to me car, I took advantage of the opportunity to learn a little more. Crazy Europeans installed the engine and transmission sideways in this car?!!

    So, while doing clutch, had rear main, trans input shaft, and slave cylinder replaced. Also, PowerFlex control arm bushings, fan resistor, PS hose, supercharger service, radiator hoses, water pump, thermostat, and probably a few other things that aren't coming to mind right now. Fortunately the belt was in good shape (not for preventative maintenance purposes, but for budget purposes b/c I'd already blown past what I told the bookkeeper I was going to spend!). New oil, MTF, and coolant, so starting out at a pretty good place.

    The shop got the clutch mostly bled. Not sure what your trick is--I found the "brace the clutch pedal down overnight with a 2x4" trick on another forum, and that REALLY made a difference. Really happy with the way it feels now.

    Nope. Not gonna mod. Preventative Maintenance is a must though. :Whistling:
     
  10. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Sounds like you did a great job covering all the common R53 problems. You'll find the R53 has a bullet proof motor and its not too hard to work on. Once you get it in service mode.
     
  11. Goldsmithy

    Goldsmithy MINI Alliance Ambassador
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    If you really want to have a great time with 6 or 700 other MINIs...check out Minis On The Dragon (MOTD) which is held in Robbinsville, NC. The Dragon is a road with 318 curves in 11 miles. Lots of fun activities. It's the first week in May.
     
  12. beken

    beken Well-Known Member
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    Welcome to Motoring Alliance. Nice car, you have there. I like the red accent.
    Also the the folks at PSMINI in your neck of the woods are a great bunch to go motoring with.
     
  13. wmwny

    wmwny Well-Known Member

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    Welcome M/A! You have a nice car and one that is easy to mod to your liking without breaking the bank. A 15% pulley will give you the boost you need. You could also go the CAI route as well as a good catback, like a Milltek. If you have runflats, ditch them and get regular tires...you'll be much happier.

    Good luck with your modding...THIS is the place to ask.
     
  14. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
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    Puget Sound MINI Motoring Club is a good group. http://www.psmini.org/

    There is another Western Washington MINI club called the Salish Sea MINI Motoring Club. http://ssmini.org/

    SS MINI is more of a south sound based club. Check out the calendars of both clubs, there is usually something happening each month.
     
  15. Husky44

    Husky44 New Member

    Feb 5, 2019
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    Tried to run the Dragon in my Shelby during the Mustang 50th...but it snowed that day.

    Would love to do MOTD, but coming from Washington is a bit more than a weekend trip. One of these years I'll get out there
     

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