1st Gen R53 Restoration

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by Scavenger, May 5, 2021.

  1. Scavenger

    Scavenger Active Member

    May 11, 2009
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    I think we've reached the point (age) where R53's are pretty much classics in their own right, and work being done on them is considered "restoration". My 2006 is now 16 years old and I've been doing a lot of work to keep him road-worthy. Just wondering what others thoughts were on this!

    Long live the R53!!
     
  2. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
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    I'm with ya. Most R53s on the road today are pretty well used and, if I'm honest, weren't built to be super long-lasting (at least given the salt and snow that mine saw in its first 5-6 years). We are in a wonderful in-between period where we can restore the cars but still have access to OEM parts!

    Call it a 'refresh' or a 'restoration'... either way, it set my R53 up for many years of enjoyment, which is where I was going with the work anyway! :D

    https://www.motoringalliance.com/threads/refreshing-rufus-2005-mcs-jcw.29878/
     
  3. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

    Jun 4, 2009
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    I think the R50/R53 is a classic design that hit it out of the park. For me it is not a classic yet, but certainly will become one. I guess in my mind 25 years designates a classic or maybe a pre-classic.

    Heck if one loves a car there is no reason not to keep it going. At this point it may be wise to plan ahead & stockpile some parts. In the future some things may become hard to find.

    They are not garage queens. Keep driving those R50/R53 MINI's. :Thumbsup:
     
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  4. trevhead

    trevhead Active Member

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    100%, full support from this corner. Here's my experience refreshing my '04 R53: https://www.motoringalliance.com/threads/2004-r53-re-build-thread.31480/
    Beware of thread - there are ups, downs, plot twists, heartaches and (maybe soon) triumphs.

    The R53 is, if not already, destined to be a classic. Everything Frank Stephenson has designed is suddenly hitting 'timeless' status, and to my eye the R53 is his top achievement. He's responsible for some of the best-aging shapes on the road today IMO... our first-gen Mini, the first BMW X5, the first Fiat 500, the Ferrari F430... and it goes on from there. I don't think there are any - ANY - current new cars that are as proportionately balanced and "right" looking as these examples, and the R53 is pretty much an A+ on that scale.

    keep it pretty but it keep it on the road!
     
  5. 00Mini

    00Mini Well-Known Member

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    There are definitely a number of folks who are like minded as R53 rebuild threads are popping up on a number Mini sites on the internet. The interesting part is that people want to have fun driving them and not keep them locked away in a garage.
     
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  6. checkers

    checkers Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2009
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    I don't disagree, but I do not take Checkers out just to get it on the road. I love to drive it on back roads and some track time. I have spent a lot of time and money on it to keep it in very good shape. I have 44k on it now. I bought it new and it took me 7 mos to get it. I drove it for 4 or 5 months before I started to do mods. Within a Year I changed or modified pretty much everything. It still run great and the paint is better than when it was new.
     
  7. Scavenger

    Scavenger Active Member

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    This is so true.
     
  8. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
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    You are correct. I actually feel bad when I get busy for a few months and realize that I haven't had the MINI out and about for a good romp. COVID plus a bunch of life things have kept me from getting Rufus out on the road, but he's in ready-to-go state. I very rarely see anyone who wants to take their MINI to become a showpiece... It's not THAT collectable / classic yet. (There were a couple of GPs (R53) that were kept to very low miles and stored in a bubble, but that's all I've heard of).

    If all stays stable, I'll get Rufus back to MOTD next year and I hope to get him out for some more club drives soon.
     
  9. Scavenger

    Scavenger Active Member

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    I did a bunch of work the first few months of the year and got my MINI running like a champ! It has been fun, however, now it looks like the first stage radiator fan has failed again, ARG!! So, I'll have to pull that apart again and get it fixed. DANGIT!
     
  10. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
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    I've got a new relay in the box and need to do the swap on Rufus... just haven't had the itch lately. I've been doing some neglected home repair work. Our home is about 7 years old and we keep finding not-so-smart things that the builders did. Right now, I'm repairing some water damage where they didn't seal the end grain in some door frames and didn't use pressure treated wood. The wood rotted away under the paint so, by the time I spotted it, I could dig away a large chunk of the wood with my finger. :( I cut away the rotten wood, plugged it the best I could with pressure-treated material, coated everything with a penetrating epoxy and then filled in the holes with epoxy putty. Now I just need to finish the shaping, prime, caulk and paint. Now that fall is coming on quickly, it's a bit more comfortable to be working outside on stuff like that.
     
  11. Scavenger

    Scavenger Active Member

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    ON Sunday, I replaced my timing chain tensioner. I think it actually made some difference, as a slight hesitancy seems to be gone. For the mileage, seems to be running really well, and still enjoy hitting the twisties again! I replaced the cooling fan stuff last year. I tested the relays and they were good. I really hope to make it to MOTD 2023!!
     
  12. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    I would like to make MOTD 23 also. I missed this year. Good to hear the mini is running well
     

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