2nd Gen Okay, talk some sense into me...

Discussion in 'Starting Line - New Member Introductions' started by yodejt02, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. yodejt02

    yodejt02 Club Coordinator

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    #1 yodejt02, Oct 24, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
    Its been awhile, but the time may have come for another MINI being parked in my garage. My first step into the MINI world was with a wonderful 06 Chili Red MCS in 2011. This eventually got modded and autox'ed I did my best to DIY when i could and eventually sold to a good home in 2016. In the market for a new to me daily i stumbled upon a 2010 MCS Laurel edition that is local to me. It is higher miles with 112k, has had the timing bits replaced at 40k by a MINI dealer, and in its history has had the HPFP replaced, the thermostat and water pump replaced, coil packs and so on. Basically hitting all the major repair notes associated with the R56.

    Here is where I am stuck. As a former R53 owner I vowed to never own an R56 due to the issues with the prince engine. But, having test drove the car recently it was a great place to be and could see this being a great daily. I am not afraid of having to wrench on a car, but the nagging concern of the timing chain and the reputation of the R56 mechanics has me still on the fence.

    Talk some sense into me, am I just being overly cynical of these cars or is my gut right and should I run away screaming with my arms in the air. I am in need of some sage like advice. A pre-purchase inspection has been setup at shop that I trust and is familiar with MINI's and their problems. Thanks
     
  2. Whine not Walnuts

    Whine not Walnuts Active Member
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    Thinking that 2010 is the N14 that many say is better suited as a boat anchor than an engine. I would pay the lowest value that KBB says the car is worth regardless of the shape or history. That is like $4000. Any higher and its hasta la vista baby for me.

    You did ask . . . . . .
     
  3. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
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    I bought my 2010 Clubman S new and it has been trouble free ever since.
     
  4. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Run away from the R56 N14, run, run , RUN.

    It’s getting harder but you can still find nice 05 and 06 MCS or JCWs .
     
  5. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    R53 05/06 gets my vote. ;)

    My son is looking for his daily driver - that'll make it 4 of them in our stable by spring I think. We're already searching and for a moment had this crazy idea "what about the R56 S - nice rear control arms, updated stuff everywhere, but then that engine... We quickly got back to what we set out to find. So far I've seen quite a few interesting cars, but nothing that jumped out as great buy. For some reason he wants a black one (rare), and in nice shape, from a no salt state, sunroof, heated cloth seats, white roof, HIDs - he knows what he wants, but it'll make it much harder to find one that is also low miles and a good price. With patience, though, I am sure we can find one like that. Maybe not in black, though.
     
  6. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    The R53 will always have my hart but the R56 are very nice cars.
    I have a R58 JCW with the N14 engine. The JCW N14 is slightly different then the S, it has beefed up mains for one, that aside the N14 is not bad as long as you keep up with it. You will have to have it walnut blasted from time to time or run meth to solve the carbon build up. The problem is the design of the PVC system. You can mod them and get some good power but be very careful and don’t go to far. It is not like a R53 that has a very strong bottom end. If you want realy big numbers you will have to build the bottom end stronger.
    One last thing to consider, that R53 supper charger wine! What a sweet song. If my R58 had that it would be the perfect car.
     
  7. Goldsmithy

    Goldsmithy MINI Alliance Ambassador
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    If the pre-purchase inspection contains a compression check and a leak-down test if needed and you have the previous service history, you should feel comfortable buying the car. There are many R56's out there that have been trouble free, even with simple modifications. If you want to go 'full race' with the car...pass and find an R53 for the stronger bottom end.
     
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  8. Whine not Walnuts

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    #8 Whine not Walnuts, Oct 25, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
    A car is like a ticking time bomb but you cannot see the timer and you do not know when it is set to go off. Then variables such as the engine design, maintenance, and how the car was driven all either slow up or speed up the timer.

    So,

     
  9. vetsvette

    vetsvette MINI Alliance Ambassador
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    My R56 had 135K miles on it when I traded. It was still running strong when I let it go. I changed the oil every 3-5K miles and pro-actively changed parts such as water pump, thermostat, and turbo oil lines. I also had an oil catch can installed. I had a few mods on it, but nothing drastic. Was still on the original clutch when I traded too. But, fair warning...... don't be surprised if you find yourself adding 1/2 quart or so of oil between oil changes. You'll want to check your oil level once a week minimum. I loved my '07MCS right up until I made a spur of the moment move and decided overnight to trade it in on a '15. Might have just been a brain fart. The jury is still out on that.
     
  10. minirab

    minirab Well-Known Member

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    I have a 2012 R58 JCW with the N14 since new. Trouble free with the exception of one coil taking a dump.
     
  11. Crashton

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    I'd be worried about this purchase. My thought is this cheap $4000 MINI could become a very expensive car in short order. Lots of people have put a load of miles on R56 MINI's with proper care. Trouble is you don't know how this car was driven & taken care of. How often was the oil changed, by the book every 10,000 miles? Heck no! PPI is a must & should be done by someone who knows these cars.

    After all of that I'd search for the ever rarer R53 that's nice & clean. Good luck on your search.
     
  12. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Good point about being proactive with it and checking the oil often. I have found on my wife’s R57 and my R58 you need to change the oil every 3-5k like @vetsvette said. I do it at 3K.
     
  13. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    It is amazing to me how many people fail to lift the hood & check the oil.

    It also amazes me when people talk about the add oil light coming on. That's an oil pressure light. GAAAA!!!! :Arghh::Dead:
     
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  14. yodejt02

    yodejt02 Club Coordinator

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    Thanks for all the replies! It is going in for the inspection today at 3. Even the place doing the inspection has asked me, " You know this is a MINI, these are not cheap to work on. And you do know that it is not question of if but when repair work will have to be done." and then proceeds to list some of the prices of repair bills he has seen. He told me most folks don't know what they are getting into when they buy a MINI or for that matter a European car. I had to laugh I know its not like my old rusty Subaru where parts can be paid for with the change left over in the ash tray. I know this car has had a solid service history, and the oil was changed every 5k.

    I did find a couple of R53's that peeked my interest, but i think back to how much of a pain it was to service the supercharger, the dumb water pump design, the belt tensioner issue, crank balancer issue....do I want to go back down that road agian.

    I will update with the findings from the mechanic

    Thanks again everyone!
     
  15. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    Good luck, you are trading R53 problems for R56 problems.

    Map out the best route to Chad at Detroit Tuned he is your closest source of MINI repair help. I give him 2 thumbs up. Might be worth a call to ask any questions you have about this car.
     
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  16. Sully

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    Agreed - Chad is a good dude. Can't wait to hear how it went. Will be good to have another R56. Any thoughts on tuning it?
     
  17. yodejt02

    yodejt02 Club Coordinator

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    Alright, the inspection went well, but alas no MINI. The car overall checked out, there were a few minor things that i could take care of. My biggest concern, timing, was addressed with the slap in the face by the shop owner. A car with 112k on the clock will need the chain replaced eventually...the chains do stretch a bit. So with that in mind I made an offer, but to my surprise the bank books the R56 some what lower than I had researched myself. So because of that new info, I was not about to finance some and put some saved money on top to make the purchase due to not wanting to be in over the booked value of the car, so no MINI.

    I am on the hunt for an 05-06 cooper s or a JCW...and from preliminary looking its going to be a long hunt. Would like to be in something by MOTD, so we will see.

    And yes Chad is a great guy and Detroit Tuned is..was my favorite place to by parts that are somewhat local. I gave him many of my hard earned dollars when I had my R53!
     
  18. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Sounds like you dogged a bullet.

    On to the R53 JCW hunt.
     
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  19. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Good decision!
     
  20. Sully

    Sully Administrator
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    What bank did you try? If your still interested you may want to try Penfed.. I’ve used them in the past and they are quite good... and sometime surprising regarding the loans they are willing to provide.

    If not - understand. What value did the bank you tried put on the car?
     

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