Still looking for "the one"

Discussion in 'Starting Line - New Member Introductions' started by newmar, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. newmar

    newmar New Member

    Jun 20, 2016
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    Hi folks, I have been reading and studying mini's trying to narrow down my choices. I'm really partial to the Liquid Yellow color in an 05 or 06 base model, but would really be happy with about any color, they're all cool. Quick question, what model year, if any, did the timing chain/tensioner issue get resolved in Gen 2 mini's? Honestly, after lots of study reading about all the recurrent major mechanical problems in many different years, I wonder if any Mini is wise to buy. When I find the right one it will be for recreational use so garage time isn't much of an issue. Thanks for any input! Cheers!
     
  2. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
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    Oct 23, 2010
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    First, welcome to Motoring Alliance!

    The court ordered timing chain the tensioner recall only goes up to 2009 models. My 2010 Cooper S ,N14 engine, has had no problems with the timing chain tensioner. There was a major change in the engines for 2011, I haven't heard of the "death rattle" happening on 2011 Cooper S models with the newer N18 engines.
     
  3. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Welcome to MA! Have you concerted a Gen1 S?
     
  4. newmar

    newmar New Member

    Jun 20, 2016
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    Thanks for your help folks, I won't consider a Gen2 before 2011. I really want a Gen1 anyway and an S would be great! Thanks again.
     
  5. Rawhyde

    Rawhyde Active Member

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    If you're wanting a 1st gen non S, make sure to get a 2005-06. The post facelift cars have a Getrag transmission that's pretty robust. The earlier Justas had a Midlands 5 speed that caused tons of problems. The CVT used in the Justa isn't known for long life either. It's hideously expensive and no internal parts were even made available for it.

    Whatever you get will be a lot of fun to drive. Welcome to the forum!
     
  6. Milkman

    Milkman New Member

    May 31, 2016
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    Great info here. We just got a new Clubman F54 but I've got an itch for a 1st Gen Justa manual to bop around town in. I've been looking for a 2005-06 but they seem to be much more rare than the Cooper S with decent mileage on them in manual transmission.

    The hunt is half the fun though so I'll keep looking until the perfect one finally comes up.
     
  7. Red Bull

    Red Bull Active Member

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    Welcome!... and good luck with your search. It can take a long time when you're looking for a very specific car, but when you find it, it'll be worth it.
     
  8. wmwny

    wmwny Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2009
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    Welcome to M/A! :Thumbsup:

    I have 3 MINIs, one an '03 R50 with a CVT tranny that is about to be replaced [I show it as it is a rare color], and the other two are '06 autos which have never given me a bit of trouble. One is bonestock [my wife's] and the other [mine] is highly modded for twisties and for the track. Both are daily drivers. Stick with an '05 or an '06 S. The '06 S is said to be the best MINI ever made.
     
  9. 00Mini

    00Mini Well-Known Member

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    Good luck on your quest for a first generation MINI and Welcome to Motoring Alliance the bestest MINI forum on the interweb !!
     
  10. newmar

    newmar New Member

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    Thank you all once again! In the meantime I will keep reading and learning about all the Mini variations. I was lucky enough to be in St Ignace, MI last summer to enjoy the big Mini's over the Mac gathering. Got to see several hundred Minis in one place. That just reinforced my desire for one of my own!
     
  11. JackMac

    JackMac Well-Known Member

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  12. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    May 4, 2009
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    Keep looking for a First gen 05-06 R53. The long hunt will be worth it once you drive it.
     
  13. Milkman

    Milkman New Member

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    Make sure you drive both the Justa and S before you decide. I had my heart set on the R50 and got to drive a really nice 2006 Justa manual today. I like everything about the car including the clutch and transmission but there is just no low end torque. Drove in a big city and it was noticably slow starting out, once the RPM's are up and on the highway it was much better.

    I think I talked myself into a R53 like everyone is recommending. Just have to find one to drive.
     
  14. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Just for the record there is not a thing wrong with a 2002 R53............I like the way my 02 rattles just fine!:D
     
  15. newmar

    newmar New Member

    Jun 20, 2016
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    Thanks again all, I too will look hard for an S. If I'm gonna get wet, may as well get truly soaked.
     
  16. caseydog

    caseydog Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2012
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    I'm jumping in late, here, but I have a 2007 MCS, and it really hasn't had a lot of problems. Not bad at all for a first year of a new model.

    My MINI dealer service advisor told me a timing chain recall was coming in advance, and called me as soon as as it was available. I drove a free loaner car for three days, and got my car back fixed, washed and vacuumed.

    The only other problems I have had have been oil and coolant leaks, which were covered under the extended warranty I bought with the car.

    A lot of members are devoted to first gen MINIs, but they have more problems, from what I have seen.

    I got lucky. I came across a used MINI that was obviously owned by a car guy (or gal). It was very well maintained. It was higher than average milage, but well maintained. I'll take that over a low-milage neglected car. I got it for a great price, and added a 3-year, 36,000 mile warranty for $1,800.

    Bottom line, find the best car you can find, regardless of the model year, so you don't start out with problems on day one. Whether it is a gen 1 or gen 2, if the previous owners didn't take proper care of it, you are more likely to have problems.

    CD
     

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