1st Gen R53 Cooper S Potential R53 Purchase

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by Grizld700, Aug 26, 2017.

  1. Grizld700

    Grizld700 Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2016
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    We got an August built 2006 R53 traded in at the dealer I work at today. It only has 44k on the odometer. Could use a huge detail as its been sitting a while. Also they had the back seats down all the time so those are ruined. I am considering getting this for my wife so that we can finally become a 2 MINI family.


    I looked for a FAQ in the 1st Gen section. Didn't see one, so here I am.
    I'm going to look the car over more tomorrow and Thursday. What areas should I look at when looking this over? I drove it and it seems really well sorted. just some odd noises underneath. Perhaps an exhaust hanger or something.

    Just don't want to buy a dud. Plus she commutes 60/day. I want to make sure she doesn't end up on the side of the road because I missed something.


    Thanks for any help :)
     
  2. Zapski

    Zapski Well-Known Member

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    S or Justa?
     
  3. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    R53 is an S
     
  4. Zapski

    Zapski Well-Known Member

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    Call me a fool. :crazy:
     
  5. Grizld700

    Grizld700 Well-Known Member

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    #5 Grizld700, Aug 26, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
    No bickering, children.
     
  6. Grizld700

    Grizld700 Well-Known Member

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    Dave I was hoping to hear some wise words from you. But knowing you, you probably could care less. Can anyone point me to a spot that might have this covered?
     
  7. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    That sounds like it could be a very nice deal. Make sure the supercharger is not making any noise and get a flashlight and try to see if any oil is leaking from the supercharger. With only 44k on it the supercharger should be fine but take a look anyway. The lower control arm bushings are probably bad or headed that way. Kick the front of the front tire and see if it moves back, if so its time for the bushings. Replace them with Power Flex bushings that last forever. The R53 has pretty solid engine so the rest is like any other car. Check for leaks, rust and sings of abuse. Look at the fluids, make sure the oil, antifreeze, break and power steering fluid look ok. I have seen R53s where people have put the wrong fluid in the PS so make sure its the correct color, not red. When you drive it, if it sounds and feels tight that is a good sign. Lastly you said the it needs a huge detailing, that could be a sigh it was not cared for just make sure you can get it clean. If it has been dirty a long time the interior could be stained.
    All that said just 44k sounds really good. If you get the car there things I would do to it to refresh it so plan on spending a little on it to get it in top shape.
     
  8. minsanity

    minsanity Active Member

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    #9 minsanity, Aug 27, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
    My sub60k has had these done (not chronological)
    -fuel pump
    -fuel filter assembly due to faulty intank fuel pressure regulator
    -refreshed w/ new fuel rail pulse regulator.
    -bush & ball joint refresh...remember to replace the chf11s ps fluid & hose clamps while subframe & ps pump are off. Check PS fan, too.
    -multiple front strutmounts
    -added Cravenspeed anti mushroom strut plates
    -rear strutmounts
    -cv joint & steering rack boots
    -coolant temp sensor
    -multiple belt tensioner dampers
    -crank pulley...went ATI
    -hi speed coolant fan bypass mod
    -replaced headliner w/ pleather
    -filled lower engine mount w/ sikaflex pu seal
    -passenger side engine mount...go Vibratechnics
    -Coolant reservoir...go Greene Performance.... remind Colin to check for proper cap & hose fittings to go w/ it.:)
    -plugs & leads
    -serpentine belt
    -oil pan & oil pump cover gaskets + crank seal. Check tensioner while doing this.
    -oil filter housing gasket
    -pads & fluids...rubber failure is more age than miles.
    -swapped a fumoto valve in as my drain bolt seized
    -rebuilt the Denso alternator
    -check thermostat & oil cooler for leaks.
    -suspension & hatch struts.

    That's pretty much the short list of things to watch out for. I got the more British build...Good luck w/ the purchase. Hope yours is more German.:D
     
  9. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Sorry man I was busy loading up Marzo's house into a truck for his trip to Detroit Tuned yesterday.

    The advice above is a very good start but I would also ask for service records and get a car fax.

    I would also check the rear taillights for rust and if you car pull back or out the rubber door seals (rubber seal) and check for rust.

    If you get some type of maintenance history doc you will know what you will want to address first. At 44k you should be good as long as it was not sitting outside in the rushbelt.

    Your at a dealership so use all the dealership tools, car fax, vin look up and stick that car up on a lift with a tech. Hopefully you are at a BMW / MINI dealership. :thumbsup:
     
  10. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2015
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    maybe a bit late to the party, but this is a good guide of what to look for. I just checked a car over and had a long list of things taken from the video I went through. Glad I did that, because I know I would have forgotten a few things.

    [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUhzyfb3cxg"]Buying a used 2002-2006 MINI Cooper - what to look for mechanically - YouTube[/ame]

    As for what I have experienced on my R53s and would expect almost all cars to be prone to:

    oil leaks from front of engine (dipstick tube, CPS sensor)
    belt Tensioner going bad
    coolant reservoir leaking
    front lower control arm bushings going bad
    tie rods and ball joints wearing out
    front axles developing vibrations
    thermostat going bad (mine ran a bit hot)
    nobody services the supercharger oil
    check if battery still has a vent tube on it - most cheap auto parts shops will slap a normal battery in and ditch the breather tube
    fuel filter clogging up
    fuel pump getting weak (due to above)
    exhaust may be quite rusty in back if from the wrong climate
     
  11. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    a few more things - here's what I have done to an 86k Mini since I bought it (now in the mid 90s), and I am not even close to done with the refresh

    Oil/Filter
    sway bar bushings replaced
    ignition wires, coil, spark plugs
    Oil and Filter change, clean air filter
    fuel filter replaced
    new mirror caps (white)
    fuel pump replaced
    Bridgestone Potenza RE760 tires
    ATI engine damper, new belt, new idler pulley, new tensioner, crank seal
    Helix rear lower control arms installed
    Valve cover gasket replacement, intercooler cleaned, CPS o-ring
    super charger oil change, new o-ring on dip stick tube
    termostat, housing, and gasket changed
    new radiator foam installed in new rad support
    Oil and Filter change, Fumoto drain valve installed
    Coolant flush and refill with Extended life Penzoil
    Top engine mount and bolt replaced, bottom engine mount new
    Whiteline rear adjustable downlinks installed
    Revalved BC Racing coilovers with Swift Springs installed
    Ride height adjusted to 24.3 and 24.6" at front/rear wheel well -
    4 wheel alignment and camer -1.75 front, -1.5 rear, 0 toe front 0.1 rear
    M7 strut bar installed
    Royal Purple SynchroMax gear oil
    new RF tire after puncture. moved to rear
    DDMworks CAI and K+N filter installed
    rear rotors Akebono pads, stainless lines, brass bushings, full fluid flush
    power steering pump and fan replaced (recall) - fluid looks fresh, too
    Oil and Filter change, Fumoto drain valve removed (hits new PS fan)
    new Battery (Walmart H5 Everstart Maxx $109 5 year warranty)
    Low speed fan resistor mod wired up and mounted to bumper
    New powersteering hoses and fluid refill upon install
    new driver side A arm (rust)
    MOOG tie rods, inner and outer, new boots
    MOOG inner and outer ball joints
    Powerflex lower control arm bushings
    POR-15 painted subframe to stop rust
    Replaced driver and passenger side axles with rebuilt OEM Mini axles
    New Wilwood Rotors and new pads
    New retaining springs for brake pads, cleaned and polished glide surfaces
    New Timken front hubs/wheel bearings
    New water pump
    another supercharger service, just because I was doing the water pump
     
  12. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Thats a great video!

    Holly molly you guys have had to do a lot of work to your Minis.:D My 02 has not needed quite that much.

    As I said if you decide to buy it I would do a refresh on it. Not a major one.

    Belt
    tensioner
    idler pulley
    Maybe a crank pulley if needed but I doubt it needs it
    Flush all fluids
    Plugs

    The car only has 44k on it I would not think to much is worn out yet.

    My 02 R53 has 150k heres is what I have done this does not include Mods. Those are optional.

    Low speed fan switch
    power steering pump fan
    pump done under under warranty (06 have a different pump)
    oil pan gasket
    oil filter housing gasket
    new PS hoses (don't use the crimp clamps)
    clutch
    SC gasket the big green one
    Oil pressure hinder o-ring
    crank pulley

    This does not include the normal MX.......belts, tensioner, brake pads,...ect.

    We can talk mods if you buy the car. Dave had some good suggestions. That reminds me pull the door seal up at the rear bottom corner some times there is some rust there. It is no bit deal sand and pant.

    Let us know what you find. R53's are great animals
     
  13. Grizld700

    Grizld700 Well-Known Member

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    #14 Grizld700, Aug 28, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
    After looking at it really good here are some things I noticed:

    Most troubling - Air Bag Light is on.

    Brake pad light is on

    Possible CPS leak and rear main seal leak.

    Starts hard, sometimes
     
  14. Grizld700

    Grizld700 Well-Known Member

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    I was able to pull codes from the airbag system.

    Code 02 - Ignition Circuit ZK1 / Belt Tensioner Driver

    Code 88 - Side Airbag Sensor Front Left

    Code 05 - Ignition Circuit ZK4 / Side Airbag Front Left
     
  15. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    airbag light could be expensive to fix, or just a bad cable/connection. Brakes are a couple hundred bucks for a full refresh, if you do it yourself under $200. The leaks are cheap to fix, but high labor. Rear main seal rarely leaks, while CPS and dip stick oil drains across the entire bottom of the motor to the back, making it look like a main seal leak. Sloppy oil filter changes can also put a lot of oil on the back of the motor - I thought I had a leak behind the damper, but it turned out to just be oil that had come down from the filter housing.


    hard starting - does it do it even after it has just been started? If sitting overnight, fuel pressure drops in most cars and it is advised to turn the key to the first click, listen to the fuel pump buzz as it builds pressure and when it stops to turn over the motor. Really makes a difference in normal starting. However, if the car has pressure built up it should start easily. If it starts poorly on a repeatable basis, there may be some significant maintenance necessary (fuel pump, filter, plugs, wires, and that is the easy list - root cause could be much more difficult to determine). Plus for me that type of thing is usually a sign to walk away as it hints at overall lack of care.
     
  16. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Everything Fishmonger said. The R53 had a problem with the airbag wiring harness, I believe on the passenger side. Some were covered under a extended warranty. Check and see what you find I can't remember the details. Some just cover the light with tape to fix it.:D
    I wouldn't worry about the oil leaks to much, but then agin I am old and use to cars that leak a little.
    Do you do your own work? How about some pictures???
     
  17. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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  18. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Airbags are an easy fix. Just have the dealer reset the codes with the BMW / MINI tool and run a test. Most times it's some idiot unplugged a seat cable (yellow) and turned the key on and that set off the hard code. This happens a lot. :ihih:

    The OC3 mat (passenger side seat occupancy sensor) had a recall and the fix is still free. I get a reminder card every 6 months but they don't understand I changed my seats and have no airbags in my replacement Mitsubishi EVO IX Recaros. :lol::lol: I used a resistor to code around the seat airbag sensors in the seats and the dash ones are still active along with all the other airbags. :thumbsup:

    I would always plan on replacing the Belt, All Pulleys including the a ATI Crank Damper, Idler, and new belt tensioner. Along with new OEM Coil, OEM wires, and New OEM NGK plugs.
     
  19. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Oh and couple more things to look out for.

    If you see a Red MSD Coil , ALTA parts & stickers or M7 stuff run away quickly.

    Poor choices made by previous owner shows lack of judgment since they bought cheap crap parts.

    If you see a ALTA belt tension stop that shows you the person that owned the car was a complete dork.

    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
     

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