myf16n GRM+ Memberand New Reader
3/17/23 5:13 p.m.

It was time to get rid of the R56 Mini S that I've had for a year, and I needed something that could carry a dog, handles well (25mi mountain road to work) and was more reliable than a Cooper S.

I had forgotten about the Speed3's until joining this forum and seeing one for sale. After some research I determined that I wanted a 2nd gen with the technology package and I went on the hunt. Every one I found was 140k miles or more, and many of those were modified. I'm in CA, so those were not options. 

I conceded that I was going to have to get one with higher mileage than I really wanted. I finally found a few under 100k, but they were many states away. Then late one night I found one on Facebook. It was damn near stock with 50k miles, tech package, and to top it off, only 9 miles away from me. I jumped on it. 

It has a a CA legal Cobb airbox and tune (I'm shocked), Accessport, and an upgraded rear motor mount. I think I got a screaming deal for $14K.

So far all I've done is put some new tires on some RX8 wheels. Future plans are braided steel brake lines, brake fluid, maybe a rear swaybar, and replace the infotainment system. I'm not opposed to mildly lowering it, but I want to get used to it as it is for a few thousand miles before doing more.  I haven't decidied if I want to try and tune it, I live in CA after all, I'll upgrade the fuel pump internals.

Is there anything else I should consider?

BoulderG New Reader
3/17/23 6:54 p.m.

I'd say you've done very well for yourself! Congratulations!

84FSP UberDork
3/17/23 9:44 p.m.

CooperTired and I were just musing on how we never see these on the roads anymore.  There is apparently a safe modding path for them to be pretty quick.  They have good eyeball and have aged well.

Mndsm MegaDork
3/17/23 10:03 p.m.

Rsb wakes these cars up a ton. Look at the rear shocks, they're notoriously bad in these cars. If you're going to replace, do coilovers. Expect to do end links when you replace that bar. 

MyMiatas HalfDork
3/17/23 10:04 p.m.

 Does it have the lag like the Mazdaspeed Protege I drove a while back? If so upgrade the turbo system. Yours looks like a very nicely taken care of car.

Mndsm MegaDork
3/17/23 10:06 p.m.

In reply to MyMiatas :

Not even close. Stock you've got max boost before 3k. The k04 is a bit undersized and spools instantly. 

MyMiatas HalfDork
3/17/23 10:09 p.m.

Had to ask. Wasn't sure about the turbo.

spandak Dork
3/17/23 11:36 p.m.

I hated the shifter on my Gen 1. Hacking 2/3 of the shifter weight off helped a lot. I put a delrin ball on mine as well. It helped. 

And electric Ford Focus rear motor mount tightened things up without adding too much vibration  

Intakes make nice choo choo noises!

Keep a firm grip during those lane changes haha and enjoy!

myf16n GRM+ Memberand New Reader
3/18/23 11:22 p.m.

So apparently the 2nd gen speed3's are detuned in 1st and 2nd gear in an effort to reduce the torque-steer. The Cobb tune / map in the car now, eliminates that restriction. I need a whole lot more practice getting used to the rapid onset of boost...I'm getting a whole lot of wheel spin.

Cooper_Tired HalfDork
3/19/23 1:08 a.m.

Always loved these things. Came close to shopping one but went Focus ST, which is close to being a 3rd gen one without the LSD. 
Those wheels look perfect on it

myf16n GRM+ Memberand New Reader
3/19/23 2:19 p.m.

Thinking about the TIL thread, and the Poor Design thread...


Today I learned that the rear passenger door windows FULLY retract into the doors. There isn't any window sticking up into the opening. I think that's an awesome design.

HikerDan (Forum Supporter)
HikerDan (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand New Reader
3/19/23 9:07 p.m.

Seems like you scored on this, the few that are around here that I see are a lot higher mileage and are more $. I've been interested in these and the Mini for a while, curious on your thoughts comparing the two?


myf16n GRM+ Memberand New Reader
3/20/23 12:35 p.m.

In reply to HikerDan (Forum Supporter) :

The Mini was a love / hate car. It got great MPG even when I was beating on it. Maintenance and reliability were big concerns adding the relatively high cost of parts into that caused me to seek out a replacement. The car was fun to drive and expensive to upgrade. In stock form it was fine up to about 7/10ths, beyond that it understeered. Badly. I installed a bigger rear swaybar, and it helped, but the car really needed more camber in front. I discovered that was an expensive upgrade on OEM struts, and I wasn’t willing to drop the $ into a car that in the end was still a Mini. It was fun to toss around, but after 20k miles I just didn’t enjoy it enough to keep it. Some of the more annoying things were that it started in ‘normal’ power, and I had to manually turn on ‘sport’ mode every time (it’s gutless in normal mode). The center speedometer was inconvenient. There are 40+ different warning images that can appear on the Information display, and they weren’t always intuitive.

The MS3 handles more neutral right out of the box, the user interface is much nicer, and of course the bonus extra 100hp is nice too. It appears to be easier to maintain, aftermarket parts are less expensive, and I’m sure it will be more reliable. Who knows…in a few months I may have bigger gripes about it.

Pic with RX8 wheels. My daughter has recently shown more interest in cars and helping me in the garage. She asked if we could put some stickers on the wheels. If it keeps her interested in cars and helping...I'm ok with it. 

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