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Jerry
Jerry HalfDork
5/10/13 10:29 a.m.

CL ad for 2005 MINI S with low miles

2005 MINI Cooper S RED/B -V LOW Miles, UPGRADES, MODS HIGH PERFORMANCE - $16995

I've already emailed him to see if he would go lower. KBB without the mods in this area is $12k. Only 49k miles but still it's 8 years old.

Schrick Race CAM, ACR Race Head with titanium lifters, valve springs - Installed by Detroit tuned, Chad Miller ALTA Header and CAT 6 point AutoPower Cage Installed professionally Adjustable Suspension - Bilstein PSS9 Installed professionally Corner balanced and Professionally aligned for track, polyurethane bushings installed Webb Camber plates Wilwood Big Brake Kit - Major Upgrade Dyno tuned twice by MINI guru Jan Bruegemann- Owner of RMW, 230 HP at the wheels Redline raised to 7500 RPM, Shift lights installed ALTA adjustable rear sway bar (19mm) ALTA 15% reduction Supercharger pulley kit JCW Air Intake system MILLTEK SPORT Stainless free flow sport exhaust system Upgrade Race seats installed, Cobra, made from Kevlar Schrick 4 point Red harnesses M7 Front splitter M7 Front strut tower braces and stabilizer bar SRT Larger Injectors, tuned with car by engine management software Cooper S door sills Badging Mini Sport Side skirts Alta larger intercooler (100% larger, 40% greater flow) Factory intercooler included Alta intercooler silicon hose kit -- red iPod integration kit Alta rear, adj, sway bar end links Alta rear lower adj control arms Stainless steel brake lines, Upgraded Rotors all around New front and rear Brake Pads Dynamic Stability Control Quaife Limited Slip Differential (very rare and desirable) Xenon Headlights with Powerwash (Factory Option) 2 Sets of 17 inch Wheels and tires, both with newer tires Kosei K1 TS and Centerline Forged Wheels

Dammit. All because I looked at an ad for the John Cooper Works GP & balked at $40k, decided to look at CL for used........ Help me!

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
5/10/13 10:31 a.m.

Well the harnesses are incorrectly installed so that makes me wonder about the quality of the other mods.

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 Dork
5/10/13 10:33 a.m.

Cool car. Nicely setup for track but a bit pricey. Hopefully he still has stock seats. Those would get annoying for DD. So would the cage.

You could also find an S or used JCW and mod to your tastes.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce Dork
5/10/13 10:36 a.m.

Why does it look like the passenger bar was torched out? That and the belt mounting make me seriously question the quality of any 'mod' on that car. It could be a great deal, but I'd be very very cautious.

dculberson
dculberson UltraDork
5/10/13 10:46 a.m.

Yeah, the passenger side cage door bar is effed up and missing. The cage in general is a horrible idea for a street car. It's overpriced. It's a Mini Cooper S which has a bad track record of reliability.

Jerry
Jerry HalfDork
5/10/13 10:56 a.m.

Wow I didn't even catch the passenger side cage bar.

"which has a bad track record of reliability." ---that pretty much kills it for me alone then. (I admit I know nothing about MINI's.)

Ian F
Ian F PowerDork
5/10/13 11:51 a.m.

My guess is the door bars are bolt-in and that's just rubber tubing to protect against street bumps. Not that I think it's a good idea.

One thing to remember - it's a track-prepped car, but with no regards towards any class if you eventually wanted to compete. This alone would kill it for me. All of the mods would put it into Street Modified where it'll get mauled by turbocharged Hondas.

There are not enough foul words in the English language to describe how much I dislike the sunroof in a MINI. To have one in a track car is just stupid to me...

I've seen a lot of MINIs like this one over the years. Street cars that the owner slowly evolved into a track beast to the point where it's a crappy street car... and still under-prepped for serious track work. Then the owner decides to get really serious and buys a proper tool for the job, leaving this car undriven.

MINI reliability doesn't bother me. The issues are well known and they're easy cars to work on. But all of the mods would kill it for me. I'd offer maybe half the asking price because there's so much I'd have to redo. Re-skinning the roof would suck.

Jerry
Jerry HalfDork
5/10/13 12:11 p.m.
amg_rx7 wrote: You could also find an S or used JCW and mod to your tastes.

Maybe this one: Looks less sliced and diced

Cone_Junky
Cone_Junky Dork
5/10/13 12:17 p.m.

That ad translates to me- "Used, high maintenance vehicle ridden hard and put away wet for years".

No thank you

t25torx
t25torx New Reader
5/10/13 12:18 p.m.
Jerry wrote: Wow I didn't even catch the passenger side cage bar. "which has a bad track record of reliability." ---that pretty much kills it for me alone then. (I admit I know nothing about MINI's.)

Yeah I wouldn't own another MINI after having an '07 S. Before 50k miles the timing chain guide disintegrated almost taking the engine with it. Thankfully that was all warrantied. The A/C blower motor went out at about 52k miles, the mass airflow sensor went out at 56k miles. I've never had a car have that many problems in such a short amount of miles/time.

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 Dork
5/10/13 12:52 p.m.

In reply to t25torx:

Wow. Your R56 sounds a little better than my E36 experience.

I bought my 06 R53 new and it has 95k miles on it now. Hasn't been too bad - for a BMW. The older 1.6 supercharged engine didn't have that timing chain guide issue. Repairs mostly focused on: - plastic thermostat gasket deterioration (on my third tstat)
- 4 pax side engine mounts
- lower control arm bushings
- PS line leaks
- misdiagnosed oil pan leak that was really an O-ring leak for CAS
- transmission valve body (auto for the wife)

I don't understand why BMW can't make LCA arm bushings or motor mounts that last longer...

I think the R53 is much nicer looking than the newer R56 model.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde Dork
5/10/13 1:41 p.m.

All you have to do is search back through the GRM forum here for references to maintenance and mechanical gremlins. That should convince you nicely. Or just use the link off my profile for threads I've posted in if it's quicker.

I would consider owning another Cooper S if it were box stock, low mile, bare bones S given to me for free. As much fun as it was to drive, that's the only way I'd still have one.

Ian F
Ian F PowerDork
5/10/13 2:12 p.m.
amg_rx7 wrote: I don't understand why BMW can't make LCA arm bushings or motor mounts that last longer...

The weird part is the earlier version of the passenger side engine mount never fails. On the plus side, it's about two extra steps on the R&R to do a pulley swap (BTDT).

The LCA bushings are definitely short lived. Some years ago I was working on a friend's car and mentioned the LCA bushing was weeping fluid. He mentioned they had been replaced less than 10K miles ago. He was pissed. Personally, I won't install the OE bushings - only the PowerFlex poly versions - partly because they're much easier to install and mostly because they last a heck of a lot longer.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UberDork
5/10/13 2:19 p.m.

Wow. I'm speechless! I don't think I've ever seen the GRM board actually ever talk anyone OUT of making a purchase before!

Jerry
Jerry HalfDork
5/10/13 2:23 p.m.

In reply to 1988RedT2:

Yet I'm truly grateful.

JoeyM
JoeyM MegaDork
5/10/13 2:34 p.m.

separate issue. How tall are you? I'm not tall, but have a tall torso. I drove a MINI at an autocross once and had major headroom issues. It was fine when I didn't have my helmet on, but as soon as it was, I was unable to sit upright. I literally had to put the top of the helmet into the sunroof area to get clearance.

Now, after the fact I heard that the seat has a height adjustment. The owner was even shorter than me, and may have raised the seat. IDK, so YMMV.

t25torx
t25torx New Reader
5/10/13 2:39 p.m.

The MINI and my brothers older 323i have totally ruined BMW's in my eye.

naparsei
naparsei New Reader
5/10/13 2:42 p.m.
JoeyM wrote: separate issue. How tall are you? I'm not tall, but have a tall torso. I drove a MINI at an autocross once and had major headroom issues. It was fine when I didn't have my helmet on, but as soon as it was, I was unable to sit upright. I literally had to put the top of the helmet into the sunroof area to get clearance. Now, after the fact I heard that the seat has a height adjustment. The owner was even shorter than me, and may have raised the seat. IDK, so YMMV.

Joey, I am 6'4" and drive my MINI all the time, no problems (mine's an '05 JCW). I have DE'd it, so I fit with the helmet (including sunroof). It's actually a really comfortable car for tall people.

I have owned mine since new, and it's had some problems, but nothing major. I beat it, constantly. Probably the biggest issue is that it burns a little oil now (8 years, 80K later).

JoeyM
JoeyM MegaDork
5/10/13 3:37 p.m.

then we can mark my issue up to the owner having the seat as tall as it will go

Beer Baron
Beer Baron UltimaDork
5/10/13 3:53 p.m.

It makes far too many compromises that make it inferior at any job it is going to try to do. If it is a track car, it shouldn't have that sunroof (for weight, simplicity, and safety). If it is a street car, that cage is a bad idea. Even as a track car, that cage isn't great. Those harnesses and seats will absolutely suck for the street, and not actually be good for the track. Those look like bolt-in side bars with rubber capping the ends. Which is still a horrible idea. Maybe it won't cut you, but it will completely shatter your knee when it impacts it in an accident.

The owner didn't go far enough to preparing a genuine track car, and so ruined it for one job without actually fully qualifying it for another.

If you want a MINI that will be a trackable street car, maybe find a really nice example of an unmolested S or a JCW. If you want a streetable track car, find a base Mini with cheerios or dog dirt ground into the interior, strip everything out of it, and have a proper cage welded in.

racerdave600
racerdave600 Dork
5/10/13 4:49 p.m.

My '06 Cooper S really hasn't been that bad, my E36 was soooo much worse. In fact, I believe the MINI is light years better about maintenance than the M3. Funny that you can list the same items plus a whole lot more needing maintenance for the BMW and people say it isn't that bad.

I'd look at the car before I decided. The door bars appears to be removable for street use, I've seen worse. That said, I do not like cages in street cars, they can make matters worse if you have a wreck. Your bare head and roll cage bars are not good companions.

Anyway, don't be scared on the MINI. They are absolutely no worse than a BMW, and unbelievably better than my VW experiences. If you can live with any other German car, you'll fine in the MINI.

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 PowerDork
5/10/13 4:55 p.m.
Joshua
Joshua Dork
5/10/13 5:13 p.m.

I'd be worried about ripping my pants or shredding my leg open when getting into the passenger seat... Except that would be a worry for my passenger not me.

Other than that it's a sweet car!

EricM
EricM SuperDork
5/10/13 9:16 p.m.

shock tower mushrooming.

Did that talk you out of it?

Ian F
Ian F PowerDork
5/10/13 9:25 p.m.
1988RedT2 wrote: Wow. I'm speechless! I don't think I've ever seen the GRM board actually ever talk anyone OUT of making a purchase before!

I wouldn't go that far. There are just certain things about a MINI a potential buyer should know about. The online community for these cars is incredible. Far better than any car I've played with short of maybe my TDi. After so many years playing with MINIs, I was stunned at how poor the E30 community is.

While even the most die-hard owner will admit they aren't perfect, the little cars invoke an incredible amount of passion in many owners. More so than most enthusiast cars.

Personally, I would look for a car with mushrooming because I could use it to get the price down and its easy to fix. Anyone who avoids the cars for that reason is simply ignorant.

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